You know that scene in Goodfellas after the airport heist where Robert DeNiro tells his guys not to buy anything with the money, lest they be discovered, and then one of them runs out and buys a new pink Cadillac for his wife? That just happened in England, except with a Ferrari. And the criminal in question is a police officer.
The BBC reports that details have come to light in the criminal case against Osman Iqbal, a former Birmingham officer sentenced to seven years in jail after being convicted of running a brothel, money laundering, selling drugs and other charges along with a gang of now also-convicted men and women.
What tipped police off to the fact that one of their own was involved with organized crime? When he showed up to work — to work, at his job, as a police officer — in a $250,000 Ferrari 458 Italia.
Iqbal had good taste in cars, but that's about all I can say for him. The appearance of his new exotic led investigators from his own department to start looking into his activities. From the story:
Colleagues became suspicious and West Midlands Police's counter-corruption unit began investigating. Officers discovered Iqbal, from Ward End, had bank accounts for two non-existent businesses that were being used to launder "hundreds of thousands of pounds" from brothels in the Covent Garden and Marylebone areas of London.
During their investigations, detectives also found Iqbal had attempted to access police intelligence systems. Iqbal was asked by Nahiem Ajmal, a Birmingham religious leader, to obtain information on behalf of Sajad Khan, West Midlands Police said.
News reports say Iqbal and his cousin, convicted armed robber Talib Hussain, would pick clients up from strip clubs, take them to their brothels, sell them drugs, and run up charges on their bank cards. The victims wouldn't report the crimes because, you know, that's really embarrassing.
Other members of the gang included Iqbal's cousins, his sister, and her husband. Iqbal was jailed in September on charges of conspiracy to run a brothel, conspiracy to launder money and possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply. The details of his case remained sealed until recently, and he faces further time on charges of misconduct in a public office.
Hey, Doug — looks like someone had an even more disappointing Ferrari ownership experience than you did.