A 37-year-old policeman in Birmingham who led a secret double-life as head of an organised crime group was caught out after suspicious colleagues saw him turning up for work in a £170,000 Ferrari.
Osman Iqbal, who was on a £25,000-a-year salary as an emergency response police officer with West Midlands Police astonished his fellow officers who saw him arrive at Kings Heath police station in a Ferrari 458.
Whether it was jealous colleagues or otherwise, someone tipped off the anti-corruption department who began to look into his financial affairs for clues as to how he could afford the supercar.
Shocked detectives discovered Iqbal was laundering hundreds of thousands of pounds through a fake business, which eventually linked him to an organised crime group that ran brothels and sold drugs.
Iqbal along with his partner – convicted armed robber Talib Hussain, 33, led a gang who picked up clients from strip bars in exclusive areas of London.
Iqbal was jailed for seven years and four months and sacked by the force last year after admitting various conspiracy charges, but appeared in court this month, where he admitted three counts of misconduct in a public office.
Warwick Crown Court heard he made unauthorised attempts to access police intelligence systems on behalf of Birmingham religious leader. Iqbal will be sentenced next month for the misconduct offences.
Chief Insp Martin Brennan, from West Midlands Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said the cars and greed gave the men away.
He said: “This was a highly-organised and well-orchestrated criminal network but what makes it particularly reprehensible is that fact a serving police officer was at the centre of it all.
“Iqbal and his associates generated their income by running ‘exclusive’ brothels and peddling Class A drugs.
“For them, it was all about the money and the fast cars and they didn’t care who they were exploiting and what laws they were breaking in the process.
“Their greed was their downfall and when they were seen driving around in their supercars it didn’t take us long to piece together exactly what they were up to and take action.
“We constantly target networks like this and it doesn’t matter who’s involved, we will seek to use the full weight of the law against them.”
Insp Tracey McGrath, from the Counter Corruption Unit, said: “The vast majority of West Midlands Police officers and staff are honest, hard-working people.
“But occasionally there are people who disgracefully betray the public and even their own colleagues by exploiting their status for their own gain.
“Where officers and staff fall short of the standards we expect, we will always take action.
“In this case we’ll be looking to seize all the assets Iqbal acquired as a result of his criminal activity and his police pension too.”