A former Metropolitan Police officer who seized at least £850,000 in “criminal cash” under the pretence of doing his job has been jailed for eight years.
Kashif Mahmood, 32, of Woodcroft, in Harlow, Essex, dressed in his uniform and used marked and unmarked police cars to travel to locations where an organised gang knew “significant quantities of criminal cash” would be exchanged, and took it himself while pretending to be doing his duties.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) called Mahmood “audacious, corrupt and criminal”.
Director of major investigations Steve Noonan said: “His actions were a complete betrayal of public trust and confidence, and have no place in policing.”
He said it sent a “clear signal” to police officers who engage in corrupt activity that “they will be caught”.
During sentencing, Judge David Tomlinson said Mahmood “abused his position of power, trust and responsibility” and his actions were an “exploitation” of his policing colleagues.
Mahmood, who wore a blue buttoned-up shirt and black face mask, did not react as the judge delivered his sentence, reduced from 12 years due to an early guilty plea.
The court heard he was a member of the “highly lucrative” operation which seized at least £850,000 from criminal couriers under the pretence of a “lawful exercise of his powers”.
He was sentenced after admitting conspiracy to acquire criminal property and misconduct in public office, although he did not receive any additional jail time for the latter charge.
Judge Tomlinson said the group put criminal couriers in harm’s way, as they would not have been able to explain to their bosses how the money had been seized.
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.
“Fortunately cases as serious as Mahmood’s are rare, but they highlight how crucial the work of our Anti-Corruption Command is.”
Mitigating, William Emlyn Jones told Southwark Crown Court on Thursday: “He accepts that this is no one’s fault but his own. It is his own fault he has lost his good character and his hard-earned reputation.”
He said 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.
“The punishment he has brought upon himself is substantial. It seems that in the end his background has caught up with him.
“He thought he had escaped but it called him back in.”
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”.
He was sentenced alongside brothers Mohsin Khan, 36, and Shazad Khan, 33, both of Babbacombe Gardens, Ilford; Shabaz Khan, 33, of Barkingside, east London; Mohsin Khan’s partner, Maria Shah, also of Ilford; and Ioan Gherghel, 34, of Keogh Road, Stratford.
Mohsin Khan was sentenced to 16 years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs, conspiracy to transfer criminal property and conspiracy to acquire criminal property.
Shabaz Khan was jailed for 14 years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs, conspiracy to transfer criminal property, conspiracy to acquire criminal property, and possession of a controlled drug of class B with intent to supply.
Shazad Khan and Shah were sentenced to 15 years and five years and four months in jail respectively for conspiracy to supply class A drugs, conspiracy to transfer criminal property, and conspiracy to acquire criminal property.
Gherghel was jailed six years for conspiracy to acquire criminal property.
All were banned from travelling outside of the UK for five years after their release.