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.

Operation Pallial: Bringing too long awaited justice for child sexual abuse survivors after nearly 30 years

gordon-anglesea-pic-credit-bbc-and-john-price

Gordon Anglesea: Now a convicted paedophile Pic Credit: BBC and John Price

CROSS POSTED ON BYLINE.COM

The conviction of former North Wales police inspector Gordon Anglesea for indecent assault against two teenage boys has been a long time coming. Too long.

His conviction last week along with John Allen, the former owner of Bryn Alyn  and Bryn  Estyn children’s homes in North Wales, who was convicted of a further 33 offences against children, are the high spots of the National Crime Agency’s Operation Pallial investigation.

This investigation along with the Macur inquiry  into child sexual abuse in North  Wales would never have been set up unless Theresa May when she was home secretary, had seen the need for it.

And some of the victims would never had any justice or ever believed.

I  have reservations about the openness of the Macur inquiry but the police investigation has been a success contrary to views of some naysayers. My Macur reservations are heightened by revelations on Paddy French’s Rebecca website which suggests that Lady Macur was less than open about Angelsea. See the link here.

Those like Harvey Proctor  who condemn Theresa May for establishing the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse might well pause. For this police investigation has yielded results. It proved those who said that there was no need for  further investigations into the North Wales and it is not worth investigating claims of historic sexual abuse were wrong.

Both convicted men were arrogant, evil and thought because of their powerful positions in the North Wales hierarchy they were untouchable and could abuse vulnerable children at will.

Both mounted similar defences. John Allen said he wasn’t gay, was not sexually attracted to children and had suffered a “miscarriage of justice ” when he was convicted in 1996 of sexually assaulting six boys.in the first place. His accusers were making it up to get compensation money, his defence lawyers said. He is now rightly in jail for life.

Gordon Anglesea took a similar line saying it was a conspiracy by the survivors to accuse him of indecent assault so they could obtain  money.

This is the man who won  £375,000 damages  in 1994 against The Observer, the Independent on Sunday, Private Eye and HTV, the holder of the ITV franchise in Wales over allegations that he had abused children during visits he made to the Bryn Estyn children’s home just outside Wrexham. He also pursued the satirical magazine Scallywag  through its distributors.

It is worth looking at the Inforrm blog today which carries a report on how the libel case was successful.

Operation Pallial – which ceased  handling new claims last month –  has now succeeded in convicting  nine men.A total of 340 people have made contact with the investigation and 84 complaints were still being actively investigated at the end of July.

It would be a good idea if  the National Crime Agency shared with other police forces how they managed to secure convictions for historic child sexual abuse – as they seem to have made a good fist of it. And the police need advice on how to proceed with such cases – particularly in North Wales where former police officers were accused.

For the survivors it has been particularly grim – waiting all that time for justice. As Ian Hislop, the editor of Private Eye, pointed out : ” I can’t help thinking of the witnesses who came forward to assist our case at the time, one of whom later committed suicide telling his wife that he never got over ‘not being believed”.

That about sums up the injustice survivors have had for 30 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Tom Watson is dead right to call for child abuse FBI

Tom Watson MP: campaigning to get child sexual abuse cases investigated: Pic courtesy The Guardian

Tom Watson MP: campaigning to get child sexual abuse cases investigated: Pic courtesy The Guardian

Tom Watson, the MP who raised the historic child sex abuse issue that could involve politicians in the Commons, has this week called for the setting up of child abuse FBI.
In an article in the Sunday People and also on The Needleblog the MP forcibly questions why the National Crime Agency has failed to arrest any paedophile connected with an international ring or amorphous group.
Mr Watson told the Sunday People: “We’ve got an international policing operation that has netted hundreds of alleged paedophiles and the UK has failed to act on intelligence.

“This is completely unacceptable. It shows why we need a dedicated national team whose sole aim is to investigate allegations of child abuse.
“I think we need a proper team of officers who have investigative capabilities as well as powers of arrest.
“There are police officers who have been calling for it for years.”
Mr Watson’s call comes after the shocking news that ‘Project Spade’ had arrested hundreds of paedophiles -100 in Canada, 76 in the US and 164 in other countries
Almost 400 child sex slaves were freed and 341 alleged paedophiles arrested as part of the swoop.

I am not surprised about this. After observing the painstaking work the Metropolitan Police Paedophile Unit has done to unearth historic child sexual abuse cases dating from the 1970s and 1980s and the long time it is taking achieve results, I am not surprised.
The number of police officers working on this scourge is frankly pitifully low and I am amazed they have got as far as they have. The expertise in this area other forces have outside London is not brilliant either – and they are dependent on outside help.
But child sexual abuse does not always take place within the UK – indeed with the internet there is growing evidence that child sexual trafficking crosses the world. But I doubt David Cameron will want to commit any more public resources to stop it – he prefers to leave it to pressing, as he did today, for Google and Microsoft to take the lead in tackling child sexual abuse.