Added by David Sandercock on March 3, 2011
An exclusive and secretive Melbourne men’s club has got the potential for illegal activity, an ombudsman said on Thursday.
According to Ombudsman George Brouwer, the club, titled The Brotherhood, has a circulation list of 350 or so people, including current and former police officers, MPs, and private and public servants who allegedly have access to databases containing sensitive information.
Because of the club’s exclusivity and secrecy, Mr Brouwer said the potential for illegal information trading is significant.
Mr Brouwer also reported that several of the club’s members have been subject to criminal investigations, including corruption.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner, Simon Overland, told Mr Brouwer that he is “deeply concerned” about the club and its activities.
The owner of The Brotherhood, former police officer John Moncrieff, however responded to the concerns raised: “We’re not secretive and we’re certainly not corrupt and we have nothing to hide,” he told Fairfax Radio.
While Mr Brouwer believes that the culture promoted by the club “… protects police officers who break the law and strongly discourages others from blowing the whistle on corruption,” Police Association secretary Greg Davies said that without any evidence of criminal activity, the club had to be viewed simply as a group of men having lunch together.