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Former McCann detective Kevin Halligen Indicted for Fraud and Money laundering

In 2008:

Washington - Red Defence in Red Zone

Fired abruptly by the Find Madeline Fund which has sought to find Madeline McCann, Red Defence International also wrangled in the past with Trafigura.

An affiliate of Red Defence International, a firm headed by Britain’s Kevin Halligen, the investigative concern Oakley International Group was hired in March, 2008 to help find Madeline McCann, the three-year-old British child who vanished in May, 2007 from a hotel on the Portuguese coast. In late August, the Find Madeline Fund, which bankrolls the search for the child, suddenly cut all links with Oakley International, officially for “inadequate results.”

It wasn’t the first time that companies owned by Halligen, who took part in MI 5 operations in Northern Ireland, have encountered problems with their customers. In September, 2006, Red Defence was retained by the Trafigura trading group after two of its senior executives, Claude Dauphin and Jean-Pierre Valentini, were arrested and clapped behind bars in Ivory Coast. A month previously, the Probo Koala, a ship chartered by Trafigura, had discharged toxic waste in dumps in the port of Abidjan. Red Defence, whose contact with Trafigura was lawyer Marc Aspinall, pulled out all the stops to secure the release of Dauphin and Valentini.

Through the firm WatchWood, Red Defence leased a Falcon business jet from the South African group Aerotrade, headed by Fred Rutte, and kept it on stand-by for months, at great expense. Red Defence additionally approached a private British security concern Oceans Five run by John Nash to ask that it provide commandos to mount an operation to rescue Dauphin and Valentini from Maca prison in Abidjan.

The operation, initially planned for mid-January, 2007, was put back on several occasions. Trafigura, which was negotiating simultaneously with the Ivory Coast authorities for the release of its executives, was worried about the constant postponements and the prohibitive cost of the operation.

It finally cut all ties with Red Defence in February, 2007. Shortly afterwards, Dauphin and Valentini were released after the payment of USD 198 million that was destined to cover the cost of a clean-up of waste from Probo Koala. Subsequently, Trafigura’s lawyer, Aspinall, demanded that sub-contractors hired by Red Defence reimburse some of the money paid to them , threatening legal proceedings.

Following that setback, Halligen moved to the United States and founded Oakley Security Services, whose initials OSS evoked those of the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA. He re-named the firm Oakley International Group and teamed up with the lobbying concern Patton Boggs run by Thomas Boggs.

Madeleine fund in chaos as private eyes are axed after draining £500,000 Daily Mail
Last updated at 10:14 PM on 23rd August 2008

A team of private investigators working behind the scenes to find Madeleine McCann has been axed after being paid £500,000 from publicly donated funds.

The Find Madeleine Fund quietly engaged the services of a US-based company which was awarded the lucrative six-month contract earlier this year.

The company, Oakley International, which boasts former British security service and FBI contacts, was hired to monitor the Madeleine Hotline, carry out detective work and review CCTV footage of possible sightings of the missing girl around the world.

A source revealed that the company had also spent resources in an attempt to infiltrate a paedophile ring in Belgium.

However, the company's contract will now not be renewed. The Mail on Sunday has learned that double-glazing tycoon Brian Kennedy, who has been underwriting the fund's search for Madeleine, has conducted a review of the agency's work and has become unhappy with the progress it was making.

The deal was abruptly ended following a meeting last week after the fund brought in independent monitors to assess how the money was spent.

The cost of employing the agency - run by a Briton, Kevin Halligen - has drained the Madeleine fund and there is now less than £500,000 left.

The development is likely to dismay the thousands who gave to the appeal, and raise questions about how the fund has been administered.

Mr Kennedy, who owns Sale Sharks rugby club, was said to be 'angry' because he believed Oakley's bills, estimated to be more than £80,000 a month, were too much for the results they achieved.

A source said: 'There is a sense that they were meaning well but hadn't got as far as they should for the money involved.

'Brian Kennedy thought their work was far too pricey and wanted to know where the money was being spent. He wasn't satisfied with their answers and the contract was not renewed.

'Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate, have been kept informed all along and agree with the decision. A lot of people were asking questions about where the money was being spent.'

Oakley International won the contract after an introduction by another company, Red Defence International (RDI), based in Jermyn Street, Central London.

Listed as being involved with both companies was Mr Halligen, 47, a communications expert. He is given as the 'contact name' for Oakley International Group, a company registered in Washington DC as the manufacturer of search and navigation equipment.

The company says it has annual sales of £33,000 and only one employee, who appears to be Mr Halligen.

The address given for the company is 2550 M Street NW Washington, which is the downtown office of Patton Boggs, one of the largest and most powerful law companies in America.

A source at the law firm said last night that the lawyer who represented Mr Halligen was unavailable for comment.

RDI, formed in 2005, bills itself as 'an experienced provider of crisis prevention, management and expertise'. It claims to have a presence in Washington DC and Virginia and representation in the Middle East, Africa and Central America.

However, its latest set of accounts is two months overdue and it faces being fined by HM Revenue & Customs.

Among the main players working on the McCann contract were Mr Halligen and Henri Exton, 57, who headed the Greater Manchester Police undercover unit until 1993. He then worked for the Government before moving into the private sector.

One day after a crisis meeting last week with the Madeleine fund administrators, Mr Halligen resigned as a director of RDI.

Mr Exton, of Bury, Lancashire, has the Queen’s Police Medal and an OBE. During the Seventies and Eighties his work included uncovering organised crime rings and recruiting supergrasses.

He also infiltrated football gangs, at one stage becoming a leader of the Young Guvnors, who followed Manchester City, and was forced to take part in organised incidents to preserve his cover.

Previously, the McCann fund had employed a Spanish detective agency called Metodo 3. However, the fund lost confidence in them, especially after they announced they would find Madeleine by last Christmas.

She had disappeared from the resort of Praia da Luz, Portugal, on May 3, 2007, nine days short of her fourth birthday.

A spokesman for the McCanns said yesterday: 'Kate and Gerry, the fund and their backers have always sought to employ the very best people and resources in the ongoing search for Madeleine.

'Kate and Gerry, via the fund and the backers, continue to employ many such resources and it is true that Red Defence and Oakley were part of those resources.

'I simply will not comment on any personnel, financial or operational details whatsoever.'

No one could be reached for comment at Oakley International or Red Defence International.

Mr Kennedy, estimated to be worth about £250million, became involved after being moved by the plight of the McCanns during the period they were made formal suspects – arguidos – in Madeleine's disappearance. Portuguese prosecutors dropped the couple's arguido status last month.

The 47-year-old made his money in double-glazing and home improvement ventures with companies including Everest windows. His Latium Group business empire has an annual turnover of about £400million.

Present day:
Department of Justice Press Release

For Immediate Release
November 12, 2009 United States Attorney's Office
District of Columbia
Contact: (202) 514-7566

United Kingdom Man Indicted for Fraud

Washington, D.C.—Kevin R. Halligen, 48, of Surrey, United Kingdom, was indicted today on charges of wire fraud and money laundering by a grand jury sitting in the District of Columbia, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The indictment alleges that from November 2006 to January 2007, Halligen engaged in a scheme to defraud a London-based law firm of $2,100,000. The indictment alleges that Halligen falsely represented to the law firm that these funds would be used to pay expenses incurred in the United States to help secure the release of two executives of a client of the law firm who were arrested in the country of Ivory Coast. Contrary to these representations, Halligen, the indictment alleges, used the funds for his own benefit including purchasing a mansion located in Great Falls, Virginia.

In announcing the indictment, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillips and FBI Assistant Director in Charge Persichini praised the work of the FBI Special Agent who investigated this case. They also commended Paralegal Specialist Mary Treanor, Legal Assistants Jamasee Lucas, Sabrina Brown, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Vasu Muthyala, who is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

in Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI]

Related: 'A Censurable Censure' and 'Mark Hollingsworth Investigates The McCann Files'


  1. Poor Gerry he doesn't seem to be able to find an honest man to help him. And it always costs the fund millions of pounds before he realises he is being conned. Whatever next. Gerry was involved with Halligen in syphoning money out of the fund ? How absurd, Gerry wouldn't do that .

  2. It's exciting, could this mean an opening regarding the mccanns fund? Could the fund have been used by Brian Kennedy to launder money? This could mean a breaking point.

  3. Strange Gerry you use M3 they are investigated and now we have this you maybe get away with this once but for it to happen twice people are going to put 2 and 2 together Gerry and get 4, imo you are sailing close to the wind!!!!!!!!!

  4. What about the Portuguese officer first on the scene on 3rd May who was apparently being investigated after receiving large sums into his bank account?

    did anything ever come of this?

  5. What low lifes these people are who will use a little girl's disappearance to jump on the bandwagon and make money - not unlike the parents IMO!

  6. Oh boy.First Método 3 and now this...I can't understand why do the mccanns hire the best lawyers and spokepersons to defend themselves but only hire crooks to "find" their beloved daughter... Is it because their reputations are more important than Madeleine or is it because they already know where the child is?
    I hope this is just the begining of the end of this hideous farse.

  7. Anon 6
    Says it all really

  8. It would be great if some Brits could make some FOI requests maybe to some sort of governmental /financial auditing body regarding the McCanns fund, using Kevin Halligen info as leverage.

  9. Why didn't Team M hire detectives who were experienced in finding missing persons. I'm surprised none offered their services since this is such a high profile case. Curiouser and curiouser.

  10. What a complete set of low lifers these so called professionals are. And we the mere proletariat are supposed to stand in awe and wonderment of them. Scum the lot of them.

  11. If they hired really good detectives they might come to the same conclusions as the PJ.

    Then the McCanns would have to sue them as well, or do something to shut them up.

  12. Looks like Kevin Halligen, Metodo 3, Trafigura, Carter Ruck, Kennedy and the McCanns are a big 'happy' family.

  13. Even back when I still believed the McCanns I was confused as to why they hired M3 who were publicly stated as not being adept at missing persons cases. How did this case going from a missing child to international espionage?

  14. Hi Anonymous(comment9)the McCanns were offered and turned down the services of a former British police officer, turned child protection expert, shortly after Madeleine disappeared. I think it was Mark Williams-Thomas, but I could be wrong.

    The child protection expert, was speaking on GMTV.He said he had just returned from PDL and he had offered his services to the McCanns, but they turned him down. He then revealed, that the McCanns had said the shutter was jemmied and when the police found the shutter intact,the McCanns admitted leaving their apartment unsecured.

    He said when the police found the shutter was intact, the McCanns were asked, if Madeleine could have walked through the unsecured door. Kate McCann replied "Not possible, once the children were asleep they never woke up" She didn't tell the police what Madeleine had told her and her husband that morning.When she told her parents that along with her brother Sean, she had cried for them and they never came.

    Kate McCann, only revealed that fact 12months later.She must have forgotten, that she told the police her children never woke up once they were asleep. She also told the television presenters, who interviewed her and her husband, a similar story. When they were asked about the reports of the children crying, when they were out and could Madeleine have walked out of the unlocked apartment, to look for them.

    Kate McCann said the reports were untrue, because once their children were asleep, they never woke up.

    The child protection expert said that the police then changed the search from a child who had been abducted to a missing child.

    A television documentary said the McCanns were aware that the first two agencies they used, had no experience in finding missing children. They were also aware of one of their agencies, dodgy dealings with money,yet they used the agency for a further 6 months.

    I don't know if the two former British police officers, turned private detectives, the McCanns are now using, are child protection experts. Whether they are or not, they have certainly dropped some clangers, since they started to work for the McCanns.

  15. To Anonymous 11
    Exactly ! The Halligen guy was excellent because he promised satellite pictures the McCs knew, thanks to GA, never ever existed !

  16. Top professional lawyers to defend the holiday-maker parents and shifty scallies to find poor wee Maddie .. sounds just about right Gerry, eh ?

  17. Oh yes! Poor McCanns, they can't find a reliable firm of detectives to look for their beloved daughter, they only get crooks, one after another, such bad luck, one has to feel for them...well, at least they are getting it right in one aspect, THEY HAVE FOUND THE RIGHT LAWYERS! Thank goodness for that, at least their arses are well protected then! It isn't all bad luck and misfortune, eh?!

  18. The McCanns had lawyers in place, hours after Madeleine went missing.They knew that by leaving their children alone, they had broken the Portuguese law and they knew there was a chance they would be arrested for that offence.

    They used their ace card and phoned their bestest friend, good old Gordon Brown. Although he was the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, he pulled a few strings and the McCanns were then protected by the British Government.

    Madeleine's life has meant nothing to the McCanns or anyone who has helped the McCanns evade prosecution,including Gordon Brown. How dare Gordon Brown speak about family life, when he has helped the McCanns escape justice, knowing full well, they are the cause of whatever has happened to Madeleine.

    How dare Richard Branson publicly state he would pay for the best lawyers for the McCanns, should they ever be arrested and charged in connection with Madeleine's disappearance. He knows the McCanns have broken the law and they are the cause of Madeleine's disappearance, yet he is prepared to pay for the best lawyers to get them off the hook.

    As most of you have said, the McCanns have made sure their a***s are covered, by having access to the best lawyers.

    If the McCanns are ever brought to justice and successfully prosecuted, they will squeal like pigs and all who have helped them evade justice, will be named and shamed by them. Including Gordon Brown and Richard Branson.

  19. 21/11/09 20:48
    Anonymous said... 11 If they hired really good detectives they might come to the same conclusions as the PJ.

    Then the McCanns would have to sue them as well, or do something to shut them up.


    Precisely. This is what they have already done. They did not take offers of help from Yvonne Martin in the very first instance. They have never taken any notice of a group of top policemen who are experts in their field, and who proved abduction was an impossibility. They have evaded the law. They have bought protection with donations from the public. They have bought people off who dared to criticise the. But in the end, all they have really bought is time.

    They are going down. Amaral will have his day.

    The pirhanas will pay for their lies.

  20. Hi Kath( from Anon 9). Thanks for the info. I thought it odd because usually in cases like this some of the best PI's will work at a reduced rate or even free.


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