German Police Paid Informants in Drugs
Police in the north German city of Bremen have been paying informants in drugs. The practice may have helped fight drug crime but was itself illegal -- six officers are now under investigation.
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If you want information out of someone, then it makes sense to give them something they really want in return. With police informants from the drug scene, what better reward than narcotics themselves? But, as six German police officers have discovered, there's one small problem with the approach -- it's completely illegal.
The public prosecutor's office in the north German city of Bremen announced Wednesday that it is investigating six police officers for using drugs to "pay" their informants. Between 2003 and 2007, the accused are said to have compensated contacts in the drug scene with marijuana and hashish for information on drug offenses.
On Tuesday, the six officers were interrogated and their homes and offices were searched. Marijuana and hashish were found in the offices, and an illegal firearm was found in one officer's home.
One of the officers is alleged to have misappropriated 15 grams of confiscated marijuana for his own purposes during a drug bust in May 2007. In the same year, an officer is said to have got an informant to pass on 500 grams of marijuana to a suspected dealer. The dealer was later arrested by police after he had received the drugs.
Bremen's chief of police, Eckard Mordhorst, said that, in addition to the public prosecutor's investigation, disciplinary action would be taken against the accused. In two cases, suspension is being considered. None of the six will be allowed to work in plain clothes operations again, he said.
Mordhorst emphasized that although rewarding informants for information is common practice, they are paid exclusively in cash -- not drugs.
( Article from feb 2008 but could not find any info on searches here and felt it was interesting enough to post )