ACP Irwin Hackshaw

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Acting Police Commissioner Irwin Hackshaw says he was treated unfairly from day one and has hired lawyers to fight a case against the Express newspaper which published a story saying he was flagged for suspicious financial activity by three banks.

During a brief interview, Hackshaw offered no comment on allegations of fraud against him.

Asked to make a comment, Hackshaw said his lawyers were looking into the matter.

“As such, I have no comment to make,” he said.

“Do you think you were treated unfairly?” this reporter asked.

Hackshaw responded, “Yes, I was treated unfairly from day one, but my lawyers are looking into that.”

Contacted for comment, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith also said it was a criminal offence to reveal correspondence pertaining to matters involving the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

“I get dozens of correspondence from the FIU on a weekly basis and as per the law if anyone from the FIU, any police officer or any citizen discusses or reveals any such correspondence without authorization, it can amount to a criminal offence,” Griffith said.

He added, “So if anyone from the FIU reveals any such information that emanates from the FIU to the Police Service, it is an offence so hence quite obviously I have no comment to make.”

The Guardian was reliably informed that a comprehensive investigation has been launched into how the correspondence from the FIU was leaked to the media. An internal investigation is also underway.

“The procedure has been that FIU forwards files directly to the COP. These files would then be forwarded directly to the head of the FIB or Head of ACIB to ascertain if an investigation is warranted. At no time have such files ever been leaked to the public when sent to these Units to investigate. In this matter, however, this is the first time that such sensitive files have been leaked. The file was handed over to ACP Dookie, head of Professional Standards Bureau at the time,” the senior source said.

He noted that “Files pertaining to the Skeete matter which was also in the hands of the PSB was also leaked to the media. COP Griffith had previously reported several irregularities in PSB in relation to leaks, covered up investigations and biased investigations that led him to make an overhaul of that Unit. This incident adds another smear to the PSB,” the source said.

He added, “Every file report station diary extract from the Skeete matter that was secured in PSB was leaked to the media.”

Last week in a media statement the TTPS said an investigation is ongoing into one of its executive members by “an external agency.” The TTPS did not name the agency but said investigations have commenced into “how a journalist came into possession of highly sensitive information, namely copies of files of closed and current investigations. These files should be in the custody of certain limited senior officers,” the TTPS said.