Royal bank accounts allegedly hacked by private detectives

Royal bank accounts allegedly hacked by private detectives

Members of the royal family, including Kate Middleton, may have had their bank accounts hacked by a private investigator working for the News of the World.

According to the Telegraph, private detective Jonathan Rees was allegedly behind the hacking of Middleton's bank account in 2005, when she was the girlfriend of Prince William.

Meanwhile, an associate of Rees has told the Guardian that he employed "blaggers" to phone up companies, including banks, and trick them into handing over personal information.

One blagger, John Gunning is accused of obtaining the bank account details of Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, which were then sold to the Sunday Mirror, according to the Guardian. Account details from the Duke and Duchess of Kent and the Duchess of York are also thought to have been compromised.

Rees is also accused of illegally obtaining and selling the mortgage account details of the then governor of the Bank of England, Eddie George, his deputy, Mervyn King and half-a-dozen other members of the monetary policy committee.

The allegations come after MP Tom Watson told the House of Commons yesterday that Scotland Yard has evidence against Rees but that it falls outside the scope of the ongoing phone-hacking investigation engulfing the News of the World and its owner News International.

Watson claims former prime minister Tony Blair was the victim of covert surveillance ordered by Rees while the Guardian, citing close associates of the private investigator, suggests other senior political figures, including Jack Straw, Peter Mandelson and Alastair Campbell were all targeted.

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