Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 12:35 UK

Officer held in credit card probe

A credit card
A total of 35 cases of credit card misuse are being investigated

A Metropolitan Police (Met) detective has been arrested on suspicion of misusing corporate credit cards.

The officer, a member of the Met's Specialist Operations wing, has been released on bail after questioning.

The suspect is the latest Met officer to be investigated as part of a huge inquiry into fraudulent spending on the force's American Express cards.

The Independent Police Complaints (IPCC) Commission said it is managing the investigation.

The officer was arrested and bailed on Tuesday.

The spending of dozens of officers on corporate charge cards has been scrutinised as part of a wide-ranging corruption inquiry.

Unaccounted for expenses

The inquiry began last year after auditors found nearly £2m of expenses were unaccounted for.

The Met continues to complete checks on spending by the holders of 3,500 American Express corporate charge cards in use since 2006.

A total of 35 cases, some including spending of more than £70,000, had been referred for further investigation.

The credit cards were initially only issued to counter-terrorist detectives and those involved in diplomatic and royalty protection.

Cleared of wrongdoing

Earlier this month, Scotland Yard's anti-terror chief was cleared of wrongdoing after he was investigated over similar claims.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner John McDowall, 50, was one of two senior officers referred to IPCC investigators.

The second senior officer under investigation is Commander Ali Dizaei, who remains suspended from duty pending a separate inquiry into his conduct.

Last year former detective sergeant John Gallagher, 52, was sentenced to an eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Former detective sergeant Richard De Cadenet, 49, was jailed for 10 months after pleading guilty to spending more than £70,000 on his police-issued credit card.

One officer is awaiting trial and eight officers have received written warnings. Investigations into the remaining referrals continue.



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