#AceNewsReport – Jan.20: This service has been used by cyber-criminals in the preparatory stages of ransomware attacks that have caused significant economic harm to UK businesses.
#AceDailyNews NCA Report: LabVPN takedown and takes UK server of criminal network offline: The activity, led by the Hanover Police Department in Germany, saw the seizure of 15 server infrastructures across the globe yesterday (17 January), with NCA officers taking the UK node of the network offline.
Web domains were replaced with a law enforcement splash page explaining that the network has been seized and is no longer available for use.
LabVPN, which was established in 2008, enabled cyber-criminals to control botnets and malware distribution. It offered virtual private network (VPN) services on the Dark Web based on OpenVPN technology and 2048-bit encryption to provide online anonymity for as little as $60 per year. It was a popular choice for cybercriminals, who could use its services to carry on committing their crimes without fear of detection by authorities.
It was also used to create criminal infrastructure and conduct communications behind ransomware campaigns, as well as the actual deployment of ransomware.
John Denley, Deputy Director of the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit, said:
“Cybercriminals using LabVPN clearly thought they could operate with impunity, and remain under the radar of law enforcement.
“This operation shows they were wrong and that there is no hiding place from the combined power of global law enforcement when it comes to taking down illegal IT infrastructure. This included the NCA switching off servers which were being hosted in the UK.
“We continue to work closely with international partners to bolster our capability to respond to this national security threat and strengthen the UK’s response to cyber crime.”
#AceNewsReport – Jan.20: The last time inflation was higher was in March 1992, when it was 7.1%…………And with gas and electricity costs set to increase further soon, analysts warned it could reach that level again: Households have seen their energy bills kept in check by the government’s price cap, which limits the amount suppliers can charge, but this is set to be revised on 1 April: As a result, fuel bills could increase by another 50% in the next few months, the energy industry has warned.
Separate official figures issued on Tuesday showed that average pay rises are failing to keep up with the rise in the cost of living.
Regular pay, excluding bonuses and adjusted for inflation, fell 1% in November compared with the same month in the previous year.
Paul Johnson, director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank, said people on low incomes would be particularly hard hit by the squeeze on living standards.
“Everyone, particularly those on modest incomes, has had a long period of wages not really growing any faster than prices over the last decade, so another increase at this point is going to be particularly painful,” he told the BBC.
Stress for young people
Inflation at this level is a new phenomenon for many young people, who were not even born when prices were last rising this fast.
One worker, 24-year-old Alfie Kearns from Liverpool, told the BBC he believed inflation was making it harder to save money so that he can move out of his family home.
“Energy bills and gas and everything has been going up,” he said. “A big thing for me right now is I want to move out, I want my own home and that’s the next step for me and it’s just impossible in the current climate.”
However, there is little sign of a respite for him and others like him, say analysts.
Paul Dales of Capital Economics said inflation was now expected to hit 7% by April.
“That would be higher than the peak of 6% that the Bank of England was forecasting when it raised rates in December,” he added.
“And although inflation will fall back thereafter, we think it will stay above 4% for all of this year and won’t drop to the 2% target until April 2023.”
As a result, he said, the Bank of England’s rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee was likely to raise interest rates faster than most people expected, with the next increase to 0.5% expected in February.
Already-high prices for gas, electricity, food and used cars are set to climb further in the coming months, said BBC economics editor Faisal Islam.
Meanwhile, the Retail Price Index, an inflation measure which is still widely used by government and some businesses, including for wage bargaining, is already at 7.5%.
The concern is not only that the predicted peak of inflation is getting higher, but that it will prove “stickier” than expected, he added.
Kate Greig helps run the Kent Food Hub in Ashford
Businesses, who face soaring wholesale prices, now face the dilemma of whether to pass on those costs to squeezed consumers.
One businesswoman, Kate Greig, helps run Kent Food Hubs, a co-operative that helps traders and producers in the county to sell direct to customers.
She said her suppliers are seeing increases in their material costs, as well as things such as energy bills.
“Food is more expensive, fuel is more expensive,” she told the BBC. “For my traders, raw materials are more expensive, whether that’s the lentils to make a meal or the cardboard they use to package it.”
Commenting on the crisis, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “I understand the pressures people are facing with the cost of living, and we will continue to listen to people’s concerns as we have done throughout the pandemic.”
He said the government was providing support worth about £12bn this financial year and next to help families cope.
Shadow Treasury secretary Pat McFadden said: “These figures show that the cost-of-living crisis is only going to get worse in the coming months.
“Working families are already feeling the crunch. But the triple whammy of an imminent rise in the energy price cap, real wages falling and Tory tax rises coming down the tracks are going to make this crisis even worse.”
#AceNewsReport – Jan.19: Officers deployed to hotspot areas based on intelligence and used Automatic Number Plate Recognition to target vehicles which activated the technology and showed a link to violence and associated crimes: Youth workers from the charity Bounce Back, who interact with young offenders offering support and guidance to help them find ways out of criminal lifestyles, also joined the operation, working in dedicated custody suites providing immediate intervention.
#AceDailyNews Operation Pandilla UPDATE Report: More than 130 arrests in three-day operation to tackle drugs and violence in three-day operation saw officers from the MET work alongside with Thames Valley, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Kent and British Transport Police.
18 January 2022 14:01
The operation, which ran between 11-13 January, resulted in (MPS results only):
132 arrests for knife, weapons, and drugs offences;
15 knives/weapons recovered;
1 firearm recovered;
50 drug seizures;
12 cash seizures, amounting to a total of £28,740.34;
47 vehicles seized.
Officers also used drugs swipes at the roadside for the first time as part of the operation, which enabled officers to detect individuals whose driving was impaired by recreational drugs, further denying the use of the roads to those involved in drugs.
Chief Inspector Rob Ranstead, who led the operation, said:
” Tackling violent crime and the supply of drugs is a top priority, which includes targeting the drivers which fuel.
“The key aim of this operation was to stop drugs and weapons being brought onto the streets. Preventing these crimes, while also safeguarding vulnerable individuals on the cusp of violence, is paramount.
“As part of this operation, young people received instant support, independent of police. This type of collaborative approach can have a real impact on finding longer-term solutions reducing violent crime.”
Officers from the Met’s Violent Crime Taskforce (VCTF) were supported by the Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC), Met Intelligence, the Dog Support Unit and the National Police Air Service (NPAS).
Op Pandilla was deployed to these specific hotspot areas across London:
Camden/ Islington (A10 corridor);
Hackney/ Tower Hamlets (A10 corridor);
Kensington & Chelsea (Ladbroke Grove).
These deployments were enhanced across London by the Violence Suppression Units.
Last year, January to December 2021 (Calendar Year), compared to the same period prior to the pandemic in 2019, saw:
Homicides decrease by 13% (19 fewer victims)
Knife crime decrease by 32% (4,914 fewer offences)
Knife crime with injury decrease by 20% (790 fewer victims)
Knife Injury (victims under 25 and non-DA) decrease by 27% (456 fewer victims)
Personal robbery decrease by 44% (16,170 fewer victims)
Personal robbery knife injury decrease by 34% (186 fewer victims)
Gun crime decrease by 35% (741 fewer offences)
Lethal barrel discharges decrease by 21% (58 fewer offences)
Despite these reductions, we know there is more to do. Our determination to tackle these crimes remains strong and we will continue to work with our partners, and use every power and tactic available, to serve and protect our communities.
If you have any information about drug crime or violence, please contact police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 – your anonymity is guaranteed. They are a totally independent charity and you remain 100 per cent anonymous, they never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or device you use. Alternatively, visit their website https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.
#AceNewsReport – Jan.19: He was sentenced at the same court on Monday, 17 January to five years’ imprisonment. This is to run consecutively with a sentence of 13 years’ imprisonment that he is currently serving.
#AceDailyNews Court Report Convicted #paedophile given further jail sentence for historical sex offences carried out by Leslie Paul, 70 (09.05.51), of HMP Thameside, had been found guilty in September 2021 at Inner London Crown Court of nine counts of indecent assault, two counts of indecency with a child and one count of buggery without consent against two boys who were aged 13 and 14 at the time.
18 January 2022 07:00
The offences took place between 1981 and 1982 at South Vale Assessment Home, where Paul was employed as a care worker, and at other undisclosed locations in London.
Paul would exploit his position to abuse the boys.
One of the victims came forward to police in 2016. An investigation was launched by detectives specialising in historic allegations and the further victim was identified.
Paul was charged on Tuesday, 22 September 2020.
Paul had already been sentenced in January 2016 to 13 year’s imprisonment for historic offences against young boys and is subject to an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
Detective Constable Lisa Main, the investigating officer from Central Specialist Crime, said:
” The two victims who contacted us are now men and have been carrying the trauma of what happened to them for an incredibly long time.
“They were young, in care and vulnerable, and they were preyed upon by Paul. He ruthlessly used and abused the trust placed in his position as a care worker in the most disgusting, evil and calculated way. He behaved as if he thought he could get away with it.
“I commend and thank these two survivors for coming forward to report to us what happened to them. They have supported us steadfastly throughout our investigation and through the judicial process. I hope the knowledge that no other victims will suffer at Paul’s hands will go some small way to bringing them some peace of mind as they look to the next chapters of their lives.
“If you have been the victim of a historic sexual offence, I urge you to report it to us. Any discussion will be in the strictest of confidence, we will listen to you, and we will do everything in our power to bring any offenders to justice.”
#AceNewsReport – Jan.19: In November 2021, at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Akpoveta was found guilty of four counts of rape, three counts of assault by penetration, three counts of sexual assault and one count of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without their consent. This was along with three counts of assault by beating at a previous trial in October 2020.
#AceDailyNews Court Report: Charles Akpoveta, 33 (27.06.88), a delivery driver living in Luton, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday, 17 January to a total of 17 years’ imprisonment.
18 January 2022 06:00
Detective Constable Matthew Cooksey, investigating, said:
First and foremost, I would like to commend the victim of these attacks for her bravery and determination throughout the investigation, in particular dealing with two cross examinations across two trials and her unwavering commitment to working with detectives throughout. Her strength of character is inspiring.
“Throughout our investigation, Akpoveta paraded as a man who had been wrongly accused, claiming that everything which he subjected the victim to was consensual. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.
“I hope that today’s result will give the victim some respite, and also demonstrate the Met’s determination in ending violence against women and girls and bringing predatory offenders to justice.”
On 29 February 2020, Akpoveta travelled from Luton to London to meet with a 28-year-old woman he had made contact with via a social media app.
They went to her flat in Tower Hamlets where they had consensual sex. Afterwards, Akpoveta’s mood changed and he spat in her face.
The woman asked him to leave but he refused to do so, locking and chaining her front door. Over the next two to three hours, Akpoveta carried out a number of assaults on the woman. These included beating, biting, strangling and urinating on her.
During the course of the night, the woman was able to phone police. Officers attended and arrested Akpoveta. He was taken to an east London police station and subsequently charged with multiple offences.
If you have been a victim of a sexual assault and need advice, please visit our website which also contains details of a number of charities and support groups.
#AceNewsReport – Jan.19: A pesticide which can harm bees has been approved for use in 2022: After being banned by EU & UK in 2018:
#AceDailyNews says according to BBC News Beat Report: ‘Banned’ bee-harming pesticide approved for use, despite expert advice: Emergency use of a product containing the chemical thiamethoxam has been authorised in England because of a virus which affects sugar beets.
In 2018, an almost total ban was put in by the EU and UK because of the serious damage the chemical could cause to bees.
The decision came despite expert advisers finding pollution from the pesticide would damage river life, and requirements for use had not been met.
But Environment Secretary George Eustice said product use would be “limited and controlled”.
Charities and campaign groups are angry at the chemical now being approved for use.
As part of the government’s decision, Mr Eustice said thiamethoxam could only be used once a virus threshold had been reached, to ensure use “only if necessary”.
British Sugar successfully applied for an exemption to allow the banned pesticide to be used in England this year because of the threat posed by yellow virus.
Sugar beet is important for the production of sugar
The decision has been criticised by environmental charities.
The “farming system would collapse” without bees, RSPB senior policy officer Stephanie Morren says.
“Across England the wildlife we love is in decline, even the buzzing of bees in our farmlands and countryside is becoming quieter every year.”
Matt Shardlow, CEO of Buglife, said it was “shameful” no action had been taken to make sure “bee and wildlife destroying pesticides are properly assessed as being pollinator safe”.
Bees are important in the process of pollinating plants
Joan Edwards, director of policy and public affairs at The Wildlife Trusts, said the move was “a clear betrayal of promises” made to protect the natural world.
Friends of the Earth campaigner Sandra Bell criticised the decision for going “against the recommendation” of their own experts.
A spokesman for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said the decision was “based on robust scientific assessment”.
“We evaluate the risks very carefully and only grant temporary emergency authorisations for restricted pesticides in special circumstances when strict requirements are met.”
Why are bees important?
Milan Wiercx van Rhijn, from the charity Bees for Development told Newsbeat in 2021 insects play a vital role in the food chain – with around a third of the food we eat relying on pollination mainly by bees.
“If we kill the insects which are the starting blocks in the chain, we’ll kill the animals higher up,” he adds.
“It’s hard to grasp how much of an impact it’ll have on us.”
Research has found farm pesticides are killing more bees
He suggests alternative methods need to be found.
“Agriculture must be regenerative, and we cannot continue destroying the ecosystem on which we depend.”
“Future generations will be shocked that we ever considered using these toxins – we see already the catastrophic decline in insects and biodiversity.”
He advises a greater focus on having “strong, resilient bio-abundance” – which is letting things grow properly and “not cutting them down”.
“Keep your flowers growing in the spring, as that will have food for pollinators.”
Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 weekdays – or listen back here.
#AceNewsReport – Jan.18: He was arrested by National Crime Agency officers at his Kensington flat in October 2018. The weapons – three tasers and a pepper spray – were recovered following a search of the flat and his Porsche.
#AceDailyNews Court Report: Ex-Panorama producer sought out ‘Preteen’ sexual abuse online Victor Melleney, 76, who previously worked on programmes such as Panorama and Question time, also pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to four counts of possessing a prohibited weapon following NCA Investigation
COURT CASE NOTES:
Officers also seized Melleney’s laptop and iPad from this address.
An external hard drive, which he initially attempted to hide in his pocket, was recovered from the bathroom of the flat.
His devices contained over 800 images and videos of child sexual abuse (categories A-C) and he had downloaded four different Peer 2 Peer file sharing applications onto them.
Analysis showed that the keywords he used to search for the material included “PTHC” (Pre Teen Hard Core), “Preteen” and “11 yo”.
In March 2019, NCA officers executed a warrant at another of Melleney’s properties in West Wittering, Chichester, as intelligence showed that he had also accessed child abuse material from the address in the month prior to his arrest.
Melleney was found guilty of possessing indecent images of children at Kingston Crown Court on 17 December 2021. He was sentenced for this, and the prohibited weapons offences, at the same court today (14 January).
Martin Ludlow, Operations Manager at the National Crime Agency, said:
“Melleney had a significant collection of child abuse material, which he obtained from the internet.
“It’s really important not to forget that behind every sexual abuse image is a child whose life has been cruelly torn apart by an abuser, with men like Melleney fuelling the demand for such material.
“Protecting children and targeting those who pose a sexual threat to them remains our top priority.”
Senior Specialist Prosecutor Ruona Iguyovwe, of the CPS, said:
“Victor Melleney knew that he was in possession of indecent images of children. The devices recovered during searches of Melleney’s home revealed downloads of images depicting sexual activity involving children. Examination of the electronic devices also revealed software which can be used by users in sharing indecent images of children.
“The hard drives, recovered from his home, his basement, and hidden in the pocket of a dressing gown he was wearingwhen he was arrested, contained sickening videos, part of a collection downloaded over years.
“The sexual exploitation of children and the distribution of images like this is an utterly abhorrent practice and one which the CPS and its partners will continue to work to root out.”
#AceNewsReport – Jan.18: He invented a story claiming to be broke after paying for the funerals of a number of people who had died in a machinery accident: The victim made nine transfers, totalling £9,500, into various accounts held under fake identities, with the money eventually making its way into a personal account held by Aigbonohan.
#AceDailyNews NCA Crown Court Report: Serial romance fraudster jailed after conning women out of nearly £20,000: Osagie Aigbonohan, 41, originally from Lagos, Nigeria, used a number of aliases to contact several women online through dating and social media sites. Of those identified, investigators believe he conned them out of a total of £20,000 and in one case cheated a woman out of nearly £10,000.
Using the name ‘Tony Eden’, Aigbonohan struck up a ten-month relationship with one victim last year via a dating site and persuaded her to lend him money to hire drilling equipment for his overseas business.
Data from Aigbonohan’s phone showed that he also received money from at least eight other victims and had been in contact with over 670 people in total.
One of the women targeted was terminally ill, with Aigbonohan continuing to pursue her even after she had passed away.
Officers from the NCA arrested Aigbonohan in July 2021. He was carrying a false driver’s license at the time and was in the UK illegally, having overstayed his visa from two years ago.
Records showed that despite living in Abbey Wood, London, he’d spent victims’ money in locations across London, Manchester and Glasgow.
Today [14 January] at Southwark Crown Court he was sentenced to 28 months after pleading guilty to charges relating to fraud and money laundering.
Dominic Mugan, NCA Operations Manager, Complex Finance Team said:
“Aigbonohan had no regard for these women. He went to great lengths to gain their trust, fabricating stories to exploit them out of thousands.
“This is a typical pattern of romance fraudsters; they work to build rapport before making such requests. Romance fraud is a crime that affects victims emotionally and financially, and in some cases impacts their families.
“We want to encourage all those who think they’ve been a victim of romance fraud to not feel embarrassed or ashamed but rather report it.”
James Lewis of the CPS said:
Romance fraud is a particularly callous offence, involving exploitation of an individual’s emotional needs and caring qualities, to extract money from them. People should be particularly vigilant over the coming month as we head towards Valentine’s Day and more people seek a partner.
“Aigbonohan demonstrated a cynical disregard for his victims, grooming them with romantic promises before dishonestly persuading them to provide him with financial assistance.
“Thanks to the extensive and thorough investigatory work of the National Crime Agency and the support of the individual victims, the CPS has brought an end to Aigbonohan’s fraudulently activities. Hopefully, this case will serve to act as a deterrent to other romance fraudsters who prey on victims in the same way.”
The NCA advises anyone using dating websites to avoid giving away too many personal details when speaking online to someone you’ve never met in person, as it can lead to your identity being stolen. You should stay on the site’s messaging service until you meet in person; don’t be tempted to switch to other platforms that offer less protection. And most importantly, no matter how long you’ve been speaking to someone online and how much you trust them, if you haven’t met them in person do not send them any money.
If you think you have been a victim of fraud you should report it to ActionFraud.police.uk and follow the advice of the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign, which offers straight-forward and impartial advice to help people spot scams and protect themselves against fraud.
#AceNewsReport – Jan.18: Last month, detectives released an E-fit of a man they wanted to identify after a woman, aged in her 30s, was assaulted in the early hours of 3 August 2021, after leaving a nightclub in the Old Street area: The sexual assault was reported to the police on 3 November 2021. The woman continues to be supported by specialist officers during the police investigation: The suspect was taken to an east London police station where he remains in custody.
#AceDailyNews MET UPDATE Report: Detectives investigating serious sexual assault in Hackney make an arrest: The woman was taken out of the club by a man, then transported by car, possibly a taxi, to an address in the Hackney area where she was subject to a sustained attack and raped: On Monday, 17 January, a 26-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident: He was also arrested on suspicion of rape in connection with an incident in October 2021 which involved a different woman:
17 January 2022 14:05:
Detective Constable Jamie Merrill, the investigating officer, said:
” I would like to thank the public who responded to our appeal. As a result, a 26-year-old man has been arrested – not just for the initial incident but also for a second serious sexual assault that we were previously unaware of.
“Both victim survivors are being supported by specialist officers. The Met is dedicated to supporting all victims of sexual offences and identifying and prosecuting those responsible.”
#AceNewsReport – Jan.18: Officers and London Ambulance Service attended and found a 20-year-old man suffering stab injuries: He was taken to a south London hospital for treatment, where he remains in a stable condition.
#AceDailyNews MET UPDATE Appeal Report: To identify man following stabbing in Thornton Heath: Police were called at approximately 15:35hrs on Saturday, 8 January, to reports of a stabbing in Beulah Road.
17 January 2022 12:30:
Anyone who witnessed this incident, has footage, or can name the man in the image should call police on 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting 3897/8JAN: Information can be given anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
#AceNewsReport – Jan.18: He was stopped by officers from BTP’s dedicated County Lines Taskforce: On 7 January 2022, a judge sentenced him to four years imprisonment and ordered him to pay a £190 victim surcharge.
#AceDailyNews Court Report: Gary Morrison, 24, and of Brixton Hill, London, appeared at Inner London Crown Court on 21 December 2021 where he pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply drugs of Class A status.
COURT CASE NOTES:
At just after midday on Monday 22 March 2021, Morrison was spotted by officers wandering around Euston railway station looking confused before dashing to a platform to board a train.
His behaviour led to him being stopped by officers who subsequently searched him under section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Morrison promptly pulled a small amount of cannabis from his underwear and a short while later pulled a golf ball sized wrap of heroin from the same location. Officers also found £390 in cash on his person.
He was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs and being in possession of Class B drugs and taken to police custody. As he was being escorted to custody, he remarked, “I was carrying it for someone else”.
Analysis of the 22-gram ball of drugs found in Morrison’s underwear revealed it was heroin, with an estimated street value of £3,000.
Detective Inspector Graham Moss said:
” Morrison’s shifty behaviour came to the attention of our eagle-eyed officers in plain clothes who followed their instincts and stopped him before he embarked on his journey
“Their work has resulted in a harmful Class A drugs out of circulation and a drug runner behind bars rethinking his criminal activity.
“Our County Lines Taskforce is devoted to making the railway a hostile environment for criminals to move drugs. We’re continually developing our intelligence picture to tackle this crime type, deploying across the network at a moment’s notice to pursue offenders.”
#AceNewsReport – Jan.17: Can you help identify the man below in the CCTV image in connection with a sexual assault
#AceDailyNews BTP News UPDATE Report: At 7.15pm on 18 September, the victim was travelling home on the Tube when a man got on at Wembley Park and sat opposite her and asked for her age. She told him she was 14 and he started asking for her Snapchat username.
The victim then moved away from the man towards the Tube doors ready to get off the service, however the man followed her and said “I want to chill with you” before sexually assaulting her.
The victim disembarked the service at Neasden Underground station, leaving the man on the Tube.
If you recognise him, or have any information, please contact BTP by texting 61016 or calling 0800 40 50 40 quoting reference 633 of 18/09/21: Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
#AceNewsReport – Jan.17: He will appear in custody at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 17 January.
#AceDailyNews MET UPDATE Report: Andrew Marangos, 42 (07.07.79), of Broadlands Avenue, EN3, was charged on Saturday, 15 January, with attempted murder and two counts of being in possession of an offensive weapon.
15 January 2022 19:10
Police were called at 18:23hrs on Tuesday, 11 January, to reports of a man found injured inside a car in Swan Way, Enfield.
Officers attended along with London Ambulance Service and found a man, aged in his 60s, with stab injuries. He was taken to hospital where he remains in a stable condition.
Enquiries into the circumstances are ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 5710/11Jan. To remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
#AceNewsReport – Jan.16: It was reported that the victim was walking down an alleyway off Elm Grove shortly after 22.20hrs on Thursday, 13 January, when she was approached from behind by two males who took her to Holly Grove where they raped her.
#AceDailyNews MET Appeal Report: For information following report of a rape at Peckham Rye Shortly after 00.45hrs on Friday, 14 January, police received a report of a rape of an 18-year-old woman near the Railway Station Can you help?
14 January 2022 10:30:
MET INFORMATION TO DATE:
The two males are described as wearing dark clothing. They were both wearing gloves and face coverings.
The 18-year-old woman is being supported by specialist officers
A crime scene was established that includes part of Peckham Rye Railway Station.
There have been no arrests.
Detective Superintendent Clair Kelland said:
” The investigation into this incident is fast paced and ongoing and involves an extensive crime scene.
“We would like to speak to anyone who was in the area of Peckham Rye Station between 10pm and 11pm last night who saw anything that might assist our investigation.”
Any witnesses or anyone with any information should call police on 101, or Tweet @MetCC quoting 240/14JAN. To remain 100% anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.
#AceNewsReport – Jan.15: Lawyers for Andrew’s accuser have asked to interview two potential witnesses in the UK – including a woman who allegedly saw him at Tramp nightclub.
#AceDailyNews says according to MetroUK News Report: Prince Andrew’s accuser asks to speak to two potential witnesses in the UK By Sam Corbishley
Virginia Giuffre is seeking the assistance of the British courts in gathering evidence after her lawsuit against the Duke of York took a major step forward this week when a judge ruled it can go to trial.
Ms Giuffre is requesting testimony from Andrew’s former equerry Robert Olney and a woman called Shukri Walker.
Documents submitted by her legal team say that Mr Olney’s name appears in Jeffrey Epstein’s phone book under ‘Duke of York’. They say this means it is likely Mr Olney has relevant information about Andrew’s travel to and from Epstein’s properties during the relevant period.
According to the paperwork, Ms Walker has stated publicly in the press that she was a witness to Andrew’s presence at Tramp during the relevant time with a young woman who may have been Ms Giuffre.
The documents say: ‘Ms Walker has therefore stated herself that she is a potential witness and would thus be relevant to this dispute because plaintiff contends that defendant abused her in London after visiting Tramp together, while defendant denies being at Tramp on the night in question or having ever met Plaintiff.’
The fallout from Andrew’s civil sex case continued Friday as he faced calls to pay for his own security and lose his dukedom.
Criticism of Andrew is mounting after the Queen stripped him of his remaining patronages and honorary military roles as the monarchy distanced itself from the duke ahead of potentially damaging developments in his lawsuit.
The Prince of Wales did not respond when questioned about the sex scandal which has engulfed his brother, during a visit to the northeast of Scotland to meet people who helped in the clear-up operation after Storm Arwen.
Charles was involved in the royal family discussions with the Queen and Duke of Cambridge that resulted in Andrew losing his military roles, patronages and dropping his HRH style.
But when he arrived at Haddo House and Country Park, the heir to the throne did not comment when a broadcaster from Sky said: ‘Your Royal Highness, can I ask you your view on your brother’s position, Prince Andrew? How do you view it?’
Prince Charles dodges question on Prince Andrew
Following the judge’s ruling, Ms Giuffre tweeted that she can ‘expose the truth’, adding: ‘My goal has always been to show that the rich and powerful are not above the law & must be held accountable.’
She is suing the duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager and claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s friend, convicted sex offender Epstein, to have sex with the duke when she was 17 and a minor under US law.
Ms Giuffre claims Andrew had sex with her against her will at Maxwell’s London home and at Epstein’s mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
The duke is also alleged to have abused Ms Giuffre on another occasion during a visit to Epstein’s private island, Little St James, and on a separate occasion at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion.
A spokesperson for Andrew declined to comment on the newly released legal documents.
A source close to the duke has said: ‘This is a marathon not a sprint and the duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.’
#AceNewsReport – Jan.14: In the early hours of Wednesday, 12 January, officers arrested the men at addresses in Islington, Barking, Chelmsford, Dartford and Bexleyheath, as part of this operation focusing on drugs supply: These arrests were carried out following an investigation into the wholesale of drugs through a highly encrypted communication platform.
#AceDailyNews MET UPDATE Report: Five arrests for drug offences following early morning warrants: During searches of the properties, officers recovered more than £2,000 in cash, a large quantity of Class B drugs (cannabis) and 14 wraps of Class A drugs – these substances have been sent for analysis.
Those arrested are:
A 44-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cocaine and heroin.
A 26-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cocaine.
A 35-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cocaine and cannabis.
A 30-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply and import cocaine and cannabis.
A 38-year-old man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply cocaine and transfer criminal property.
They all remain in police custody while investigations continue.
Operation Eternal is the Met’s long-term investigation into the criminal use of encrypted communications to facilitate serious violence, supply of firearms, drugs and associated criminality.
Specialist detectives across the Met have worked relentlessly to form investigations around those utilising this encryption to commit some of the most serious crimes across the capital. They have monitored hundreds of handsets and analysed thousands of encrypted messages to build dozens of cases.
Detective Chief Inspector Driss Hayoukane, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Team, said:
The Met continues to work to bring those criminals using encrypted devices to commit serious and violent crimes – whilst believing they are untouchable – to justice.
“Operation Eternal has allowed us to reach those most dangerous, high harm offenders individuals right at the heart of organised networks dealing in multiple kilos of drugs, cutting off supply and associated violence right at the source.
“We know that drug supply and violence on our streets are inextricably linked. Those involved cause misery to our communities, and we remain dedicated to bringing them before the courts. Activity to tackle organised criminality in London has long been a priority for the Metropolitan Police, and it will continue to be for the coming years.”
#AceNewsReport – Jan.13: She then gave donations to politicians, with funding coming from foreign nationals in China and Hong Kong: It comes after a “significant, long-running” investigation by MI5, Whitehall sources told the BBC.
#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Security News Report: Chinese agent infiltrating Parliament, MI5 warns as alert from the security service said Christine Ching Kui Lee “established links” for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with current and aspiring MPs: By Gordon Corera & Jennifer Scott Security correspondent & political reporter, BBC News
The security service said anyone contacted by Ms Lee should be “mindful of her affiliation” and its “remit to advance the CCP’s agenda”.
Conservative MP and former party leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, brought up the alert in the Commons, confirming it had been emailed out to MPs by the Speaker.
He said it was “a matter of grave concern”, calling for Ms Lee to be deported and demanding the government make a statement to the House.
Former defence minister Tobias Ellwood also called for a statement in the Commons, adding: “This is the sort grey-zone interference we now anticipate and expect from China.
“But the fact that it’s happened to this Parliament, there must be a sense of urgency from this government.”
Issuing an alert about an individual is an unusual move for MI5.
It signals that their long-running investigation had led them to become sufficiently concerned that they felt they had to act now.
We have heard about concerns over Russian influence in the past but China, British intelligence officials say, has now become their top priority.
The allegation here is interference – covertly gaining influence – and not espionage (stealing secrets).
And one concern from security officials is that there are not the laws in place to be able to tackle interference.
As a result, they sometimes believe that going public – as they have done in this case – is the best way of disrupting any ongoing risk.
According to the alert, Ms Lee claimed her involvement with Parliament had been to “represent the UK Chinese and increase diversity”.
But MI5 said that activity “had been undertaken in covert coordination with the United Front Work Department [of the CCP], with funding provided by foreign nationals located in China and Hong Kong”.
The UFWD is alleged to be seeking to “cultivate relations” with “influential figures” to ensure the UK political landscape is favourable to the CCP and to challenge those that raise concerns about the party, including over human rights.
The security service said Ms Lee had “extensive engagement with individuals across the UK political spectrum”, including the now disbanded All Party Parliamentary Group called Chinese in Britain.
But they warned Ms Lee “may aspire to establish APPGs [parliamentary groups] to further the CCP’s agenda”.
One MP who received funding from Ms Lee was Labour’s Barry Gardiner, who began getting donations from her law firm, Christine Lee & Co, at the end of 2014.
According to the register of MP’s interests, between then and 2020, Mr Gardiner received over £420,000 from her, mostly covering the costs of employing parliamentary researchers.
Ms Lee’s son was also understood to have volunteered for the Labour MP and was later employed as his diary manager.
Labour MP Barry Gardiner received donations from Christine Ching Kui Lee’s company
In a statement, Mr Gardiner, who was a member of the shadow cabinet when Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader, confirmed he had received the donations and that Ms Lee’s son had worked for him.
But he said he had been “liaising with our security services for a number of years” about her and MI5 has “always known, and been made fully aware by me, of her engagement with my office and the donations she made to fund researchers in my office in the past”.
The Brent North MP said she had “no role” in who was appointed as his researchers and all donations were “properly reported”, adding: “I have been assured by the security services that whilst they have definitively identified improper funding channelled through Christine Lee, this does not relate to any funding received by my office.”
He also confirmed her son resigned from his post on Thursday, and that MI5 had no intelligence that showed he was aware of, or complicit in, his mother’s actions.
#AceDailyNews says according to UK Media Queen strips Prince Andrew of HRH, all military titles AND royal patronages as case looms: THE QUEEN has stripped Prince Andrew of all his military titles and royal patronages in light of the latest ruling in the civil case being brought against him by Virginia Giuffre: By Millie Cooke
17:12, Thu, Jan 13, 2022 | UPDATED: 18:12, Thu, Jan 13, 2022
Prince Andrew: Duke of York stripped of his military titles
He will no longer be able to use his HRH title, Buckingham Palace said. It also said he will defend the sexual abuse case as a “private citizen”. This comes after Judge Lewis A Caplan ruled that the civil case against Prince Andrew can proceed to trial, after the royal’s lawyers attempted to get the case dismissed.
Full list of Prince Andrew’s military patronages taken away
Andrew’s defence team cited a 2009 deal signed by Ms Giuffre and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, which saw Ms Giuffre agree not to sue any “potential defendants”.
He will face a civil case in the US over allegations he sexually abused Ms Giuffre in 2001 when she was 17.
Ms Guiffre claims she was trafficked by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell to be abused by Andrew.
The 61-year-old royal has strenuously denied the allegations.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen”.
A royal source said he would no longer use the title ‘His Royal Highness’ in any official capacity and his other roles would be distributed among other members of the Royal family.
The source said they would not return to Andrew.
In the conclusion of his ruling, Judge Kaplan said: “For the foregoing reasons, defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint or for a more definite statement is denied in all respects.”
A source close to Andrew, said: “Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments we are unsurprised by the ruling.
“However, it was not a judgment on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations.
“This is a marathon not a sprint and the Duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.”
Ms Giuffre’s legal team said she was “very pleased” with the ruling.
Her lawyer, David Boies, told Sky News: “Virginia is obviously very pleased with the court’s decision.
“It is only one step in the process. It does not resolve the case on the merits.
“It simply rejects certain legal defences that Prince Andrew was putting up to avoid a trial.
“It is an important step and my client is very pleased with that and that evidence will now be taken and very pleased there will now be a judicial determination on the merits of her claims against Prince Andrew.”
Andrew strenuously denies all allegations against him and claims he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing by Maxwell and Epstein.
#AceNewsReport – Jan.13: Abu Bakr Deghayes was caught on CCTV as he gave a 20-minute speech to a group of around 50 male worshippers at Brighton Mosque and Muslim Community Centre last November, the Old Bailey heard.
#AceDailyNews Court Report: Brighton mosque leader, 53, said ‘Jihad is compulsory’, court hears: Abubaker Deghayes made a stabbing motion with his hands as he told his congregation that ‘Jihad was compulsory’, a court heard according to MailOnline
The congregation included teenagers and young men in the 20s, as well as worshippers in their 30s and 40s, but several began fidgeting as the sermon went on, and others walked out.
Ben Lloyd, prosecuting, told the court that evening prayers had just finished on Sunday November 1, when Deghayes, 53, stood at the front of the mosque, with a book in his hand, to deliver the speech.
In footage played to the jury, he could be seen in socks, wearing a black top with the words ‘Free Palestine, resistance is existence.’
Mr Lloyd said: ‘The speech demonstrates the defendant to be an Islamic extremist.
‘He is someone who believes in the use of violence in the cause of Islam, or at the very least, he was reckless as to whether people would be encouraged.
What jury members heard Abu Bakr Deghayes told worshippers at Brighton Mosque and Muslim Community Centre in his sermon
In the sermon, Deghayes criticised Boris Johnson, saying: ‘We have a prime minister at the moment who has made a mockery of the niqab before becoming the prime minister and said this is like a letter box.’
Citing coronavirus, he added: ‘Look at the corona, now look how the world is in a mess, great mess. Where are these scientists? Where’s these armies? Where are the technology? Where are the laboratories?
‘Who’s more powerful than us? [That’s] what they’re saying, who’s more powerful than us? Look we have this, we have that, who’s power is more powerful than us?
‘Allah is more powerful than you! You idiots! You non-believers, idiots. Allah is more powerful than you! The non-believer going to work is an idiot, he is stupid, he can’t feed himself.’
Deghayes criticised moves to close mosques, to stop the spread of the virus, adding: ‘Faith, faith, faith, faith you know especially this period now. Now were going again they’re saying you know, close the mosques.
‘There’s no strength or power except with Allah. There were plagues in the community before there was cholera, millions died, never mosques were closed, ever ever.’
And speaking about religion, he added: ‘You know, today if you praise Islam, you’re strange among your own people, among your own family.
‘This guy is crazy man, you know they’re going to take him to Belmarsh [prison] very soon. Look what he’s doing, look, look! Don’t say this brother, don’t do that. Sit down.
‘Today you pass by, you see a person you know kicking the mosque and we pass, it’s not my business, it’s got nothing to do with me. Who is it to do with? It’s the house of Allah.
‘Why is it always him who’s doing this? Why are you angry? He has anger management problems. The community has forgotten its duty.’
‘It is not a speech given innocently or naively by the defendant.’
The prosecutor added: ‘The defendant was quite clear, he said jihad was compulsory or an obligation.
‘He said, “jihad by fighting by sword”.
‘The prosecution case is clear and straightforward – by standing up at the front of a busy mosque, and by quite deliberately saying “jihad by fighting by sword”, the defendant was encouraging terrorism, encouraging violence in the name of Islam.
‘If the defendant’s own words were not clear enough, he also made a stabbing gesture with his hands.’
Mr Lloyd told the jury: ‘Let me make one thing clear: what the case is not about is the freedom to practice religion or the freedom to worship.
‘Of course, none of that is unlawful in this country.
‘This is not about those who believe in Islam, rather, this case is about those who encourage violence in the name of religion, which, for very good reason you may feel, is a criminal offence.’
Deghayes, from Saltdean, Sussex, is originally from Libya, and had set out an ‘us and them approach – you are either on the side of Allah or you are a non-believer,’ Mr Lloyd said.
In the speech, Deghayes mixed English and Arabic, and told the congregation to ignore the British government and the Prevent de-radicalisation programme.
He said: ‘Allah is more powerful than you. You, idiots. You non-believers, idiots.
‘Allah is more powerful than you. The non-believer…is an idiot; he’s stupid.
‘Jihad is compulsory upon you, you, you and you until the Day of Resurrection, whatever the British Government thinks, whatever Prevent thinks, whatever Israel thinks.
‘Send to the sea. They can go and drink from the sea, Allah curse their fathers, OK?
‘Jihad, jihad, jihad! Jihad is compulsory.
‘Jihad by fighting by sword that means this jihad is compulsory upon you, not jihad is the word of mouth but jihad will remain compulsory until the Day of Resurrection.
‘And my livelihood is under the shadow of my spear.’
Deghayes added that anyone who did not like that was an enemy of Allah, declaring: ‘Go fight Allah! Go Fight Allah!’
Mr Lloyd said: ‘The key speech is a call to arms, a call to violence in that way.
‘You will see a stabbing motion.
‘The prosecution say the meaning of this is clear.’
Deghayes was questioned by police but made no comment.
He denies encouraging terrorism and the trial continues.
He joins Scottish Tory leader Douglass Ross in calling for Mr Johnson to fall on his sword.
The Hazel Grove MP told Radio 4’s PM programme that: ‘A series of unforced errors are deeply damaging to the perception of the party.’
Mr Wragg, who is also the vice-chairman of the 1922 committee of backbench MPs, added it was ‘a tragedy things have come to pass in this way’.
The powerful backbench body, which would play a key role in facilitating any leadership election, is due to meet tonight for a pre-planned meeting.
Keir Starmer calls for PM to resign after lockdown party leak
He added: ‘Unfortunately, I wasn’t reassured. I fear this is simply going to be a continuing distraction to the good governance of the country.’
Mr Ross earlier said ‘I don’t think [Mr Johnson] can continue as leader of the Conservatives.
He told STV he had spoken to the PM on Wednesday afternoon ‘and I set down my reasons and I explained to him my position’.
Another Tory MP, Sir Roger Gale, said it was already clear that Mr Johnson had misled Parliament and was politically a ‘dead man walking’.
The North Thanet MP said ‘you don’t have bring-a-bottle work events in Downing Street, so far as I’m aware’ and ‘I think the time has come for either the prime minister to go with dignity as his choice, or for the 1922 Committee to intervene’.
Mr Johnson has attempted to head off savage criticism from within his own ranks and the public at large by apologising but refusing to comment further while an ongoing investigation is allowed to be completed.
Earlier today in the Commons, Mr Johnson said that he attended the gathering for around 25 minutes to ‘thank groups of staff’ but ‘with hindsight I should have sent everyone back inside’.
The PM continued: ‘I know the rage they feel with me and with the government I lead when they think in Downing Street itself the rules are not being properly followed by the people who make the rules.’
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said ‘the party is over’ and called on him to resign.
He said: ‘That code says ministers who knowingly mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation.
‘The party’s over, prime minister. The only question is will the British public kick him out, will his party kick him out or will he do the decent thing and resign?’