Corrupt border officer jailed for aiding organised crime group

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Photo credit: NCA - Crown copyright

A corrupt border officer who was arrested by the National Crime Agency in August 2023 has been jailed for two years for assisting a London-based crime group.

Kevin Smith (pictured), 38, was detained by officers from the NCA’s Anti-Corruption Unit at work in Portsmouth as part of a joint operation with the Metropolitan Police Service and Border Force.

Earlier that day Smith had allowed drug smuggler Caprice Thompson, 46, from Brixton, to pass through his Border Force booth at Portsmouth port, having arrived on a ferry from France. Her car contained 15 kilos of MDMA worth around £400,000. As she drove back towards London she was stopped by Met officers who arrested her and found the drugs in the boot.

Two other members of the crime group were also arrested – ringleader David Johnson, 51, and Sinan Baki, 49, both from Clapham. Further drugs were recovered from their properties.

The joint operation followed an investigation into the crime group by the Met, who brought in the NCA once it became clear a corrupt insider was in contact with Johnson.

The NCA put Smith under surveillance, and obtained CCTV evidence that the former prison officer engaged in a number of face to face meetings in Portsmouth with Johnson in the run-up to the smuggling attempt.

Smith and Johnson’s relationship had started whilst Smith was working as a prison officer in the prison where Johnson was serving a sentence for drugs importation.

Following Smith’s arrest NCA officers also recovered a mobile phone which he had used to exchange encrypted messages with Johnson.

Johnson pleaded guilty to importing class A drugs, and Baki admitted possessing class A drugs with intent to supply.

Smith admitted a charge of misconduct in a public office. He was cleared of drug smuggling charges during a trial at Kingston Crown Court that also saw Thompson convicted of the same offence on 4 April 2024.

On Friday (7 June) a judge at the same court sentenced Smith to two years in prison. Ringleader Johnson was given a 12-year jail term, Baki got eight years, and smuggler Thompson was handed a seven year sentence.

Dave Rock, from the NCA’s Anti-Corruption Unit, said:

“Fortunately this type of corruption is relatively rare but it does present a real threat to the security of the public, which is why we treat it as a priority.

“People like Kevin Smith are invaluable to organised crime groups, as they can use their access and knowledge to aid their criminal endeavors.

“This operation demonstrated the excellent co-operation between the NCA, Met Police and Border Force who worked together to stop this gang in their tracks and prevent class A drugs reaching the streets.” 

Source and photo: NCA

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