Police investigating false claims of a VIP paedophile ring spent £4,670 on trip to Australia to confirm an alleged murder victim was still alive.
Detectives had been following up on an allegation from Carl Beech, who had falsely claimed a group of politicians and army chiefs in the 1970s and 80s had abused him and murdered a boy named Scott.
Police tracked down a man named Scott Masterton in Sydney, who they believed to be the boy Beech was referring to, and flew to Sydney to take a two-hour statement.
Mr Masterton said he was shocked the Metropolitan Police sent officers to the other side of the world to prove he was “alive and well”.
“Coming all this way for such a short time, you've got to think they wanted a bit of a holiday,” he said.
Former High Court judge, Sir Richard Henriques, also criticised the move, saying “more economical means” could have been used.
The Operation Midland investigation into the suite of false claims from Beech cost a total of £2 million, with not a single arrest made.
Northumbria Police said its subsequent investigation into Beech's lies cost an additional £1,109,068, of which the Met reimbursed £951,982.
Those falsely accused in the case included former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, disgraced TV star Jimmy Savile and ex-Conservative MP Harvey Proctor.
Beech was found to be lying about the alleged paedophile ring, and was a paedophile himself.
He was jailed last month for 18 years for perverting the course of justice.
During sentencing Mr Justice James Goss told Beech he was “an intelligent, resourceful, manipulative and devious person”.