Peter Fitzroy Godber : biography
Peter Fitzroy Godber (official name in Chinese: 葛柏) (born 7 April 1922 in London) was Kowloon's Deputy District Commissioner of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force and was caught in a bribery scandal after his retirement in 1973. He fled Hong Kong (to England and then Australia), but he was later captured and sent back to Hong Kong for trial. He served four years in jail for his actions.
Before his downfall on corruption charges, Godber had been regarded as a brave and effective senior police officer who played a leading role in restoring order during the major disturbances of 1966-1967 and who was decorated for his efforts. At this time, inspired by the Chinese government, Communists in Hong Kong tried to bring down the colonial administration. Hong Kong was subject to bomb attacks, riots and violence against those regarded by the Communists as opposing re-unification. A number of Hong Kong policemen were killed by bombs and attacks in the streets.
Godber was a senior officer stationed at Wanchai police station and later at Kai Tak Airport police station. Before his retirement in 1973, he had amassed no less than 4.3 million Hong Kong Dollars (approximately 600,000 US Dollars) in his overseas bank accounts. The police anti-corruption branch investigated his mysterious wealth and ordered him to explain his source of income. In response, Godber immediately arranged for his wife to leave the colony, then he used his police airport pass to bypass immigration and passport checks and walked onto a plane for London. Godber's escape led to a large public outcry over the integrity of the police's self-investigations and called for reforms in the government's anti-corruption efforts. he was arrested on 24 April 1974 in England and extradited to Hong Kong on 7 January 1975. Trial began on 17 February and ended on 25 February (lasted seven days). He was convicted of corruption and sentenced to four years in prison plus confiscation of 25,000 HKD.
His conviction and other corruption activities in Hong Kong in the 1970s led to the creation of the Independent Commission Against Corruption in 1974.
He now resides in Spain.
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