Cocaine,Guns and Wads of Cash: The double life of criminals from Bromley and Berkhamsted

Harry el Araby pic credit: Met Police

One criminal was brought up in his parent’s £1m house in Berkhamsted and runs a vegan supermarket in Hackney

Last month the Metropolitan Police revealed they had arrested 113 people as part of huge Europe wide operation against serious and organised crime. Altogether in the UK some 746 people were arrested after the National Crime Agency working with Europol cracked an encrypted phone network called EncroChat used by criminals.

What emerged was that many of the criminals were not based in the cliched inner city housing estates but in the leafy suburbs and posh, respectable towns in the Home Counties.

At the end of last month two of the criminals who were arrested in May were convicted in the courts after pleading guilty to firearms and drugs offences. Jody Hall, 46, of Carters Hill Close, Mottingham was sentenced to 12 years and Harry El Araby,33, now of  Palmers Road, Bethnal Green, to six years.

Jody Hall; Pic credit:Met Police

A picture of the two characters emerged in the Met Police’s report. Jody Hall lived with is partner in a respectable flat in Mottigham in the London borough of Bromley.

The police who must have been monitoring their phones staged a stake out near his home. They saw Hall leave his flat and go to a lock up garage.

The Met Police report goes on :

“A minute or so later he left the garage carrying a bulky item wrapped in a white carrier bag, which also had yellow and green on it. He carried the item in his right gloved hand to his car where he placed it inside the driving seat area. He then closed the car door and walked away towards his home address empty handed.

A short while later, Hall walked back to the car where he briefly parked in front of his garage and made a phone call before driving to the exit of the close.

Once there he parked and was met by El Araby who arrived on a bicycle with a rucksack on his back.

An exchange took place and El Araby cycled off while Hall returned to his car.”

Then the police pounced. El Araby was stopped and the contents of the bag seized. In it were £10,000 in cash, a Glock hand gun, a silencer and 50 rounds of ammunition.

Cocaine and guns seized by the police Pic credit: Met Police

Hall’s home was raided and police found 11 kilograms of cocaine and £4000 in cash. They checked his garage and found  a revolver concealed in an old washing machine. A specialist search team then conducted a more thorough search and found a Berreta handgun with six rounds of ammunition in the clip.

Neither of them would disclose to the police why they had guns but the suspicion must be that someone was going to be killed.

Detective Constable Gio Antoniazzi, the investigating officer, said: “These guns, and every individual bullet, represent a life that could have been lost or changed forever and so I am delighted that we were able to remove them from streets of London.

“This was a fantastic team effort and the evidence gathered resulted in Hall and El Araby having no option but to plead guilty. I hope this makes people think twice about procuring dangerous weapons.”

On the surface Harry El Araby appears to be a very respectable person. He was brought up in Berkhamsted . His parents house is in a respectable leafy cul de sac in Berkhamsted where house prices have gone up ten fold in the last twenty years. El Araqby registered one of his companies there.

He also runs the Plant Based Supermarket in Homerton, Hackney where last July he gave an interview to East London Lines as a pillar of the local community.

The friendly vegan supermarket in Hackney. Companies House lists Harry Anthony Robert el Araby as a sole director since 2017

He claimed then to be living in New Cross and told a reporter:

“I have been vegan for more than four years and I have tasted a lot of stuff; I try to pick things that I know are good and I try to hit every angle. I feel we have the widest range of vegan products and all are very good quality”.

 “We believe in the little man,” says El Araby. “Most of our suppliers are English, so we support the local economy and we impact the environment less”.

“we contribute to charitable purposes” – El Araby

“There are a lot of smaller brands in here and we try to help them as much as possible, we use coffee from Climpson & Sons, a local coffee place brewed in Hackney that has a better-than-fair-trade policy, we get the bread from Better Health Bakery, which is a charity that helps people get back into work. We try to be local as much as we can and contribute to charitable purposes”

He also tried crowdfunding to raise enough money to create a national website to sell vegan food on line – but only raised £150 towards a £3000 target. He now has a website.

One can only imagine what drove this man brought up in respectable Berkhamsted ( the house last changed hands in 1998 according to the Land Registry) and running an eco friendly shop to a life of crime with guns and bullets and wads of cash. Might make a good crime story for TV and I suspect this won’t be last exposure to come from those 746 arrests last month.

Suspicious deaths of the elderly in hospital: An appeal for people to contact me


Appeal for people to come forward over suspicious elderly relatives deaths in hospital

For the past four years I have been a member of the Gosport War Memorial Hospital Independent Panel that concluded that at least 456 elderly people had their lives shortened as ” a direct result of the pattern of prescribing and administering opioids that had become the norm at the hospital.”

Since publication of the report the events at Gosport are now the subject of an independent police inquiry so I cannot take up any cases involving Gosport.

However since the report’s publication a number of people have contacted me on  my website with allegations of a similar nature in other parts of the country,

As a result I have started investigations into these and would welcome other people –  relatives of  former patients, NHS staff  or lawyers representing them- to contact me in confidence as I am actively looking at this issue.

The aim will be to publicise and investigate  these fresh allegations to find out what happened to their relatives  and seek explanations from the various  hospitals who were responsible for their treatment.

You can get in touch with me by clicking on the contact me heading on my website or through I  look forward to hearing from you.




Exclusive: Shame of Gatwick’s “strip search ” security staff who target blacks and gays

An inappropriate strip search – picture caption: – not at Gatwick

An extraordinary damning report revealing appalling practices by UK Border Agency staff at Gatwick Airport has gone almost unnoticed and unreported in the run up to Britain’s plan to welcome millions of people from abroad to celebrate the Olympics.

It reveals that overzealous, badly trained and unsupervised staff appear to be singling out Afro Caribbean women for unjustified strip searches and humiliating gay people in public at Gatwick’s North Terminal.

While government ministers, pop stars and airline staff are being allowed to leave and enter the country completely unchecked. through the VIP Sussex  Suite, putting border security at some risk, the cavalier way staff have treated the general public defies belief.

The findings are from no other impeccable source than John Vine, independent chief inspector of the Border Agency,whose highly critical report can be found here. ( ).

 It revealed that Afro Caribbean visitors to Britain have been subject to unjustified and possibly illegal strip searches . The searches were spectacularly unsuccessful in finding any illicit goods– with 96 per cent yielding nothing.

The report says  far more women seem to have been targeted for strip searches than men. Twice as many African and Afro-Caribbean people were searched compared to white people. “We found that 16 out of the 24 identified strip searches undertaken involved women. Given that only 30 of the 108 passengers subject to person searches involved women, this indicates that at least 54% of the female passengers stopped and searched were strip searched compared with between 11% – 20% of the men subject to a person search.”

He comments:“Indeed, even in the majority of the identified strip searches conducted (14 out of 24) there did not appear to be a sufficient basis to justify any type of person search, let alone a strip search.

He goes on: “The failure to observe the correct recording procedure can render evidence inadmissible in court and mean officers could face charges of assault in relation to the conduct of person searches.”

 “The extent of any discriminatory practices should be investigated and action taken to ensure officers both understand and comply with the Agency’s duties under the Equality Act 2010.”

As bad were the treatment of gay people. The report describes how one gay person was stopped and had his luggage searched in public and with other passengers passing by.  A request for a less public search was refused twice.

The report is worth quoting in full: “The contents of the passenger’s bag were then openly displayed including photographic equipment. The officer subsequently left the passenger to undertake background checks and later emerged signalling that the passenger could continue on their way. The officer then commented to another officer that the passenger was HIV positive; the colleague then advised that the searching officer should use stronger hand gel. These comments were made within earshot of the passenger and indeed other passengers in the channel.

When subsequently asked why this passenger had been stopped immediately after this interaction, the officer commented that the passenger‘looked like he might be involved in paedophilia’ and then went on to say that ‘the presence of the camera and the fact he had a boyfriend confirmed this’ (no photos were examined).

Notebook records of this exchange were not kept. The inspector describes this as” inappropriate and  unprofessional.”

You might say this is an understatement. Compare this to other parts of the report which reveal a casual attitude to people bringing in cannabis and a lack of consistency over allowing people with  excess cigarettes and alcohol to  bring it into the country. And aircraft are rarely searched – despite one being discovered with cocaine hidden in its panels.

Real Queues at Gatstrip -sorry Gatwick Airport. Pic Cap: The Guardian

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of Public and Commercial Services Union, said: “Some of these findings are very troubling, and it is not the first time John Vine has criticised UKBA, but they are symptomatic of the parlous state the agency is in as a result of massive cuts to staff. UKBA has been left unable to cope, and not just with the queues for passport checks, but with the wide range of services it operates and if further planned cuts go through the situation will get even worse. To prevent this, the government must put a stop to these cuts and start properly investing in staff and the vital services they provide.”

Frankly this is not all that is wrong. It is time the Government got a grip of what looks like a disgraceful racist and homophobic situation at Gatwick before lots of other people are treated like this  – apart from the VIPs of course who are NOT subject to such  treatment.

 There is also  evidence of similar problems in a more recent inspection of Heathrow Terminal Three. The report says: “Person searches were not considered to be justified and proportionate in 31 of the 46 (67%) cases that we reviewed…The finding that unjustifiable strip searches may be taking place at Terminal 3 replicates our inspection findings from Gatwick North. This indicates that this problem is not isolated to one terminal and as a result we believe that Border Force needs to take action to address this issue promptly.”

If  you are reading this and have been treated either to a unwarrented and illegal strip search, homophobic reactions or found that Gatwick  or Heathrow adopted a lax attitude to border controls, contact me at and it could go much further than just a report on this website.