The head of the police's organised crime unit has told the Leveson Inquiry that it appears "public officials in all areas of public life" have received illegal payments from journalists. Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers said that her investigation revealed a string of regular payments to a number of public officials running into the thousands of pounds. "The payments have been made not only to police officers, but to a wide range of public officials" in other departments, she said, including "military, health, government, prison and others". The investigation "suggests that payments were being made to public officials in all areas of public life". Operation Elvedon was charged with looking into illegal payments made to the police, but has now widened its scope to cover other public bodies. Ms Akers said she had uncovered a number of ex-News Of The World managers who may have authorised or facilitated payments to police. She went on to testify that authorisation for payments had also come from very senior levels at The Sun newspaper, and that one journalist had received around £150000 to pay their sources. Ms Akers said that her investigation had uncovered "a culture" of illegal payments at The Sun that amounted to far more than "the odd drink or meal". DAC Akers said a number of Sun employees and police officers - plus a member of the Ministry of Defence and a member of the armed forces - had been arrested.
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