Bernie Silver

Male, Person


Who is Bernie Silver?

Bernie Silver was a leading crime boss in the London underworld of the 1950s to 1970s, active in prostitution, pornography and racketeering. He has been described as "a working-class East Ender with a taste for fine restaurants and flashy clothes."

Silver's rise to prominence began with the absorption of the remants of the Messina Brothers prostitution operation into what came to be known as "The Syndicate", a criminal organization headed principally by Silver and "Big Frank" Mifsud. During the heyday of the Syndicate, most of the Metropolitan Police Obscene Publications Squad were in its pay, including the squad's head, Detective Chief Superintendent Bill Moody.

Silver's influence began to wane as the 1970s wore on, a decline prompted by major investigations into police corruption that by the end of 1972 had led to the resignation of eighty detectives. The discovery of a detailed ledger of the Syndicate's police payoffs during a raid on the home of Silver associate Jimmy Humphreys led to the dismissal or forced retirement of hundreds of Metropolitan Police officers; corruption trials in 1976-77 resulted in thirteen detectives—including two ex-Commanders, the highest-ranking British police officers ever to be convicted of corruption—being sentenced to a total of 90 years in prison.

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on July 23, 2013


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