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Corrupt PC who used uniform to seize £850,000 in criminal cash jailed

Former Metropolitan PC Kashif Mahmood, who used his position to help an organised gang seize money from criminals, has been jailed for eight years.

Mahmood, 32, of Woodcroft in Harlow, Essex, was sentenced today (13 May) after pleading guilty to conspiracy to acquire criminal property and misconduct in public office following an investigation by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards’ Anti-Corruption Command under the direction of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The court heard he used police vehicles and resources to take cash from the couriers in carefully planned operations led by a contact orchestrating events through an encrypted communications network.

The EncroChat network used by a number of OCGs on the Continent and in the UK was earlier this year penetrated in an operation involving the National Crime Agency (NCA) and international law enforcement partners,

In July 2019 and January 2020 Mahmood looked up police records to source intelligence about the EncroChat contact, who appeared concerned what police knew about him.

The court heard there were seven occasions between 20 November 2019 and 25 March 2020 when Mahmood booked out a police vehicle from Stoke Newington police station.

He used these vehicles to intercept couriers and seize or attempt to seize up to £450,000 at a time.

The cash was either due to be laundered or had been provided to the couriers as payment for drugs. 

He was sentenced alongside four other men and a woman, none of them police officers (although one posed as one using uniform Mahmood provided), who were charged with various offences including conspiracy to acquire criminal property. They were given jail sentences totalling more than 56 years.

The corrupt officer was initially caught out when on 8 March, 2020, when he was off duty and supposedly on sick leave,he used another officer’s name to book out a police Vauxhall Astra. Mahmood and criminal associate Ioan Gherghel went in the car to Balgonie Road, Chingford.

A man, suspected of being a courier of criminal property, was already under surveillance by officers from the Met’s proactive money laundering team.

The marked police car with Mahmood and Gherghel inside, both wearing police uniform, stopped the courier’s car and searched the vehicle. They took the bag, which the court heard contained a sizeable amount of cash, and another £2,000 in cash but did not arrest the man. 

The Met team then stopped Mahmood to find out why he had searched the courier’s car. Mahmood identified himself as an officer and Gherghel, who was wearing a stab proof vest, also named himself as an officer.

Mahmood said they were carrying out an anti-drugs campaign in the area and this ‘search’ was part of the initiative.

The team were suspicious and contacted the force’s Directorate of Professional Standards. Later, the courier also visited a police station to report money had been taken from him by a police officer.

Then on 25 March 2020, Mahmood travelled to Wembley, West London in a police vehicle, stopping at an address in Stratford, East London before making the journey at speeds of up to 96 miles per hour. Mahmood and an accomplice then stole criminal property, believed to be around £450,000, from a courier. 

Mahmood enjoyed lavish trips to Dubai, from where the organised crime gang was, and made luxury purchases including a £6,000 Rolex watch.  

He was arrested on 28 April, 2020 and pleaded guilty to the offences at Southwark Crown Court on August 5, 2020. Mahmood was dismissed from the force in November last year following a gross misconduct hearing.        

Judge David Tomlinson said he “abused his position of power, trust and responsibility”.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Bas Javid, Directorate of Professionalism, said: “Mahmood may have been a police constable in name, but he was nothing more than a criminal who abused his position to look after the interests of organised crime. His motive, we have to assume, was money; he was paid handsomely for his endeavours.

“This investigation was undertaken by the Met’s Anti-Corruption Command, within the Directorate of Professional Standards, and directed by the Independent Office for Police Conduct. (IOPC) Fortunately cases as serious as Mahmood’s are rare, but they highlight how crucial the work of our Anti-Corruption Command is. There is absolutely no place for any corrupt officer within the Metropolitan Police Service and we have the largest dedicated counter corruption unit within UK law enforcement.

IOPC Director of Major Investigations Steve Noonan said: “This officer’s behaviour was audacious, corrupt and criminal. His actions were a complete betrayal of public trust and confidence and have no place in policing.

“As a body completely independent of the police, the IOPC oversaw this matter to provide assurance it was being investigated thoroughly and impartially by the MPS. 

“This investigation has now resulted in a conviction and lengthy sentence for PC Mahmood. It sends a clear signal to police officers who engage in corrupt activity that they will be caught, and they can expect to pay a high price for their crimes.

“While all the evidence we have seen points towards this being an isolated case of police corruption on this scale, we have to remain vigilant and will continue to pursue allegations of corruption vigorously.”

Mitigating, William Emlyn Jones told Southwark Crown Court Mahmood achieved his “boyhood dream” of becoming a police officer at the age of 21, despite having a “challenging” childhood during which he was stabbed when he refused to join a neighbourhood gang.

Mr Emlyn Jones said Mahmood’s remorse was “genuine”, and added that he was “misled” about the extent of the gang’s criminal activity and did not take a cut of the money seized.

He told the court Mahmood did not live a “lavish lifestyle”, as suggested, and three of the four designer watches submitted as evidence were “cheap knock-offs”.

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