Often Partisan

Who is Peter Pannu?

In fairness, I don’t think there is a Birmingham City fan who doesn’t know who Peter Pannu is; after all, he’s probably the most visible part of the current board at Blues. However, there isn’t so much information available about his background, and with this in mind I’ve tried to put together some research. As there is a lot to get through this is probably going to be the first part of two.

(Pannu pictured here with Mike Wiseman at the Derby County game, pic courtesy Birmingham Mail)

Peter Lakhbir Singh Pannu, to give him his full name, is 48 years old, and unlike the rest of the BCFC board, a British citizen. He’s a qualified barrister and an ex-HK police officer, who served for fifteen years on the force in Hong Kong. Many people know that whilst he was serving as a police officer he faced criminal prosecution for accepting a bribe from the Triads; something he was found not guilty of. What people aren’t so aware of is that Pannu in fact faced three separate trials whilst he was on the HK police force – and was acquitted of all three.

Peter Pannu joined the Hong Kong police force in February 1985 at the age of 21, and rose to the rank of Senior Inspector and head of the Kowloon City Anti-Triad squad. However Mr Pannu was suspended on full pay in January 1993 for a period of seven years whilst claims of him taking a HK$10,000 bribe from Triad boss Andely Chan Yiu-Hing were investigated. Claims were made that Mr Pannu, along with colleague Senior Inspector David Khosa (who headed another Anti-Triad unit) were given HK$10,000 each at a dinner given at Fisherman’s Wharf in Wan Chai, in January 1993 to help protect “the tiger of Wan Chai” from police prosecution. Unfortunately for the prosecutors, their case fell apart in court due to lack of witnesses; Andely Chan was murdered in November 1993 during the Macau Grand Prix and of the two witnesses who reported the incident one disappeared before he could testify in court.

I think it’s worth noting here that Andely Chan was the boss of the “Sun Yee On” triad syndicate – which didn’t have any connections with gaming in Macau but rather made their money via prostitution rackets in Tsim Sha Tsui. It’s also worth noting that the Hong Kong authorities twice tried to make charges of bribery stick against Peter Pannu; once straight after the incident was supposed to have happened, and then again after Andely Chan was murdered and the witnesses Liu Chun-Yip and Leung Ting-Fong felt safe to talk. On neither occasion were they successful and indeed the authorities came out with much criticism for the money spent on the investigation and their own procedures.

Pannu also faced charges of criminal intimidation and assault in separate cases whilst suspended for the bribery claims. In January 1995 Mr Pannu was acquitted of criminal intimidating staff at a restaurant when the prosecution offered no evidence; and in July 1995 Mr Pannu was acquitted of charges of assault after conflicting and contradictory evidence was given by the prosecution witnesses. Again, it’s worth noting that the assault charges only came about due to an internal investigation two years after they happened – at the time of the “incident” nobody complained to the police.

There have been allegations that Mr Pannu was the victim of jealousy and racism because of his Indian heritage. It’s also interesting that there have been many police links to the witnesses who have stood for the prosecution in the assault case; there is a saying that if you fling enough mud some of it will stick and you have to wonder who was flinging the mud in this instance.

Whilst Mr Pannu was suspended from the police force he didn’t spend his time at home watching the Hong Kong version of Jeremy Kyle or This Morning – instead he used the time to study for a law degree and qualify as a barrister – the profession he joined after leaving the HK police force in 2000. Mr Pannu worked as a barrister for various clients, including defending a “sauna” manager until the October 2009 takeover of Birmingham City by Carson Yeung.

As you can imagine, this only scratches the surface of the varied and interesting life Mr Pannu has had. There is more to come, and when I’ve got it suitably referenced and cited I will release a second part to this article.

Talking Points sponsored by John Hicken Industrial roofing and cladding materials


29 Responses to “Who is Peter Pannu?”

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Sounds like a regular guy – A safe pair of hands for our beloved football club.

  • Masaccio says:

    Great article

  • Graham Woodward says:

    I thought for a minute he was Vic Mackey

  • prewarblue says:

    Cant wait to read more about Peter”Teflon” Pannu

  • Bongo C says:


    I would first to like to congratulate on your excellent site and the lengths that you go to to collect information that are relevant to the running of Birmingham City Football Club.

    The reason for this correspondence is probably of little interest to you but I wanted to pass it on anyway.

    As a Blues fan living in Asia (Japan) for the best five years I have done a little travelling in the area.

    I spent the last 4 days in Hong Kong and frequented a number of drinking holes and places where they show English football (basically every private business in HK). I talked to the very knowledgeable locals about football and The Blues and to a man had never heard A THING about Yeung until his Blues takeover. They all firmly believe that he has no personal wealth and is backing shady folk. Despite a lack of Englsih in some cases they all knew the phrase “Money Laundering”…

    Anyway, as I say, this is probably of little interest to you but I think that it probably confirms a few of your suspicions.

    Keep up the good work.

    Kind regards

    Bongo C.

    • almajir says:

      I would be very careful about what you say; Carson Yeung has not been found guilty in a court of law of money laundering and must be presumed innocent until that changes, if indeed it does change.

  • john says:

    Almajir, write a book about behind the scenes and history of BCFC owners, it would be a best seller.

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    Once again, well researched, almajir.

    In part two, could we have some “nice” things about Pannu ?
    As with Sullivan and Gold D. any nuetral researcher would rely on newspapers and court reports,and so both S & G would be presented as being other than what we know them to be.
    I mean David G knew the Krays very well, but without the context, such a statement could mislead as much as it informs.

    I know it’s a question of space and time almajir, but throaway comments need to be placed in context.

    Why bother referring to Pannu once defending a ‘massage parlour’ character? Did he never defend anyone else? And in that link you gave us, the character Pannu defended took no proceeds, worked for a salary under supervision and had no previous record. He was also a voluntary worker in care facilities.
    So yes, you say he had various clients, so why mention just one ?
    Was that the sleaziest you could find?

    Balance is everything almajir.

    Good blog :-) but can we have “nice” stuff now, in the interests of impartiality?

    • almajir says:

      I take your point, and if anything I think Pannu may well have been hard done by – I don’t see it all as negative.

      The case I picked was purely because it was his last one prior to him leaving the bar – there weren’t actually that many hits when I checked.

  • A very good research. Just a reservation that police work is pretty tough and sometimes you have to cross borders “a little bit”. I would guess a lot of policemen do that, not to cheat or anything but just to try to get “the bad guy”, for example the triads in Hong Kong.

    • almajir says:

      Solidly agree SB; you can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs. The fact is Pannu was found not guilty of any of the incidents – and it could be read someone was out to get him.

  • On the other hand, there are also a lot of policemen that become connected to the ones they are charging, for example the triads, and take bribes. I will not say that Peter Pannu is one of them, but there are such people in the police force all over the world. The Hong Kong police force is known as the best in Asia and I hope Peter Pannu is the great character as he seems to be.

  • Bongo C says:

    I understand absolutely; I didn’t say that he was guilty of anything. And I hope that he is found innocent of all charges.

    Just relaying what the locals think of him

  • @farmerfizz says:

    Can’t say I’m all that interested in Peter Pan(nu) or his past. It’s obvious he’s not the Organ Grinder and is only orchestrating the wishes of others. He’s looking after his employers interests and if or when Carson Yueng jogs on then so will Peter Pan(nu). It’s immaterial whether or not we think he accepted bribes, the facts are he was found not guilty, end of! I’m always the first to praise your blogs Almajir but this one definitely tip toed on the side of innuendo and whilst not actually libellous it’s hardly impartial. You should have waited until you had all the facts and posted them as one blog rather than serve up two half cooked servings.

    Sorry to criticise but it’s your own fault as you’ve set yourself are rather high standard!

    @farmer fizz

  • gary says:

    I dont undrstand why some football supporters? are so preocupied with the background of the people who own and run the club. Perhaps a book could be written covering the backgrounds of all people connected with football including journalists. It would fill a few volumes.

    It might be worth worrying about who the next owner of club will be but one thing for sure they will have an element of dirt on their hands just like the rest of us.

    • john says:

      speak for yourself, something you’re not telling us Gary?

      • Gary says:

        I diddled a previous employer out of half an hours pay once, had two lollipops out of the bag when I was only supposd to have one. It all adds up to the same thing John. Perhaps your interpretation of dirt on the hands only applies when it becomes a topic of media discussion, and believe me if you were in the limelight it would be surprising what would be dug up.

  • alexjhurley says:

    It baffles me that any brummie who’s been to his local Chinese takeaway seems to think that this puts him “in the know” when it comes to the machinations of pannu, Carson et al. I wouldn’t bother with part 2 of this cos info from people met in bars will clearly be infinitely more reliable than the unbelievably thorough research you carry out…….

    Keep it up and ignore the idiots !

  • P.J.Nicholls says:

    As someone who has been connected with football for over 50 years I cannot understand the “Mickey Mouse” antics surrounding Zigic’s contract !!
    He has not kicked a ball for Birmingham since his last appearance for Serbia after the Carling cup final with McLeish expressing ignorance as to the facts behind that appearance.
    He then like other players goes on long term “sick leave”
    Surely if the player was fit to play in the game via the Serbian game Birmingham should be claiming for recompense against the International insurance company.
    A decision should be then made as to whether his playing days are over with the consequential compensations being paid out.
    The very fact that he played for Birmingham in the Carling cup final & then became unfit after the Serbian international absolves BCFC from any blame.

  • Paul says:

    Almajir good article as I wanted to know about PP myself. What nationallity is he? As his accent sounds muddled. Despite all this I still cannot understand the grief he gets off Bluenoses he works his backside off for Blues!

  • Paul says:

    Thanks Almajir BTW I see Pannu diidnt return to the UK in the end last Thursday as he said he would

  • Thedoctor says:

    Hmmm all I can say is “no smoke without fire”.

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