Prostitution and vice in London was controlled by Maltese gangsters after World War 2, a trade considered dishonourable at the time by the home grown villains. The Messina family
dominated up until the early 1950s. The police were reluctantly forced to take action against them and in the vacuum left, Bernie Silver came to lead the remnants of the Maltese forming them into the Syndicate a successful organised crime gang that controlled London vice in the 1960s.
Tommy Smithson attempted to muscle in on the Maltese gambling business but was shot in 1956, his murder came back to haunt Bernie after anti-corruption trials were bought to stop the Syndicate's business and corruption of the Metropolitan police force.
This podcast is just a silver of the complicated story, a story that we will return to within a couple of months.