How the Metropolitan Police Bugged Their Own to Catch a Bent Copper

British Police Reuters

‘London’s most corrupt policeman’ was caught and jailed for 13 years after the force ‘Ghost Squad’ of counter-corruption police bugged his car, recording shocking conversations about his double life as a violent kidnapper and gang criminal.

Former Police Constable Mesut Karakas joined the police in 2006, apparently passing the stringent vetting process despite retaining his association with gang-member childhood friends. As he progressed in his police career he remained close to his friends, Jamie Lowe, 24, Ijah Rowe, 30, Gokhun Kuru, 24, and Richmond Darko, 25, all now jailed, with whom he conspired to commit crimes.

During the course of his trial it emerged Turkish-heritage Karakas stabbed himself in the stomach with a pair of scissors before attempting to frame someone else for the attack. He also misused a police car to further his criminal activities, deleted evidence of his gangs activity from the police national computer, and savagely beat a man outside an Islington pub with a baseball bat.

The gang was arrested as they were preparing to kidnap a bank manager and his family, with the intention of then forcing him to hand over a significant amount of cash. Reports at the time indicated the gang had already stockpiled firearms, a van with a false registration, street signs to create a diversion, balaclavas and tape.

The recorded conversations of the gang revealed the gang-language used by the police officer, as he called his friends “blud” and police officers “feds”. Speaking of the kidnapping, he said: “When it comes to taking them out from their yard, yeah… I say we put them in duvets and sh*t. We carry them on the shoulders of two people.”

The revelation of the car bug which snared the bent copper has been made in a new television documentary due to be screened on Channel 5 tomorrow. The Evening Standard reports the comments of Detective Superintendent Chris Robson of the so-called ‘Ghost Squad’ said of Karakas: “He was a uniformed officer, a beat officer, and he moved around a couple of stations ending at Greenwich… There was nothing about him. I would not say he was a truly exceptional officer — pretty much your average police officer.”

“We heard them planning the route, what time they should commit the offence when there would be less police on the street and what CCTV cameras would be looking at them”

“I was fully aware that there was a real chance of violence being involved. The victims would have their mouths taped over and hands tied and people with balaclavas would be coming through their door.”