The Scotland Yard has opened an investigation into the conduct of six officers accused of waterboarding drug suspects after arresting them last year.
The police have confirmed that the officers face "serious allegations" in connection with arrests of five suspects in the north London borough of Enfield on November 4, 2008.
London's police force did not provide details of the misconduct. "Whilst the investigation is on-going it is not appropriate to make assumptions," it said in a statement.
Media outlets, however, have reported that in addition to waterboarding, the officers are alleged to have repeatedly ducked the suspects' heads in buckets of water.
Furthermore, the officers are accused of fabricating evidence and of stealing the property of a number of suspects during a drugs-related investigation, which did not result in a trial.
None of the suspected police officers have been arrested, pending investigations, said the newspaper.
Waterboarding is a method of torture which simulates drowning and has been condemned by human rights organizations worldwide. It achieved notoriety after its widespread use on suspected militants captured by the US and its allies.
"Any allegations of such behavior are treated very seriously ... and if found true the strongest possible action will be taken," Scotland Yard said in a statement.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) also is investigating the charges.
The United Kingdom is a signatory to the UN Convention against Torture and has treaty obligations to prosecute those who commit torture.
These serious allegations may be a test case to assess London's commitment to its anti-torture legal obligations.
Over the past 30 years, more than 1,000 people have died while in the custody of British police, yet not one police officer has received a custodial sentence for these deaths.
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