An MPS officer was on 27 July 2006, convicted of a number of offences that relate to the criminal possession and resale of property stolen from Heathrow Airport.

PC Colin Royden Powell, aged 25 years, a police constable based in Twickenham was convicted, at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court of:

  • 3x possession of criminal property (contrary to Section 329 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002)
  • 5x conversion of criminal property
  • 4x attempted conversion of criminal property.

These offences all relate to electronic equipment that had been stolen whilst in transit to Heathrow Airport, which had initially come to the notice of Operation Grafton.

Powell’s co-defendant, Robert Chmiel (35 years) of Iverna Gardens, Bedfont, Middlesex, had previously pleaded guilty to 2x possession of criminal property on 30/11/05 at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court.

The convictions are the result of an investigation by the Directorate of Professional Standards – Specialist Investigations Unit.

Powell was arrested by detectives from the Specialist Investigations Unit on Saturday 4 December 2004 on suspicion of handling stolen goods. He was taken to a south London police station and was subsequently bailed to return on a date in the future pending further enquiries. Powell was suspended from the MPS on the 8 December 2004.

Chmiel was arrested on 2 January 2005 at his home address by detectives from the Directorate of Professional Standards. During a search of the premises a substantial quantity of electrical equipment was seized, some of which had been identified as being stolen whilst in transit through Heathrow Airport. At the time of the offences, Chmiel was employed at a cargo handling company situated outside Heathrow Airport perimeter.

Both men will be sentenced at Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court on 22 August 2006.