How was bent cop able to access Met Police cars and stations to aid crime gang while on sick leave?
THE Met Police is reviewing supervision of officers and how they access force vehicles and buildings in the wake of a shocking corruption case.
Rogue cop Kashif Mahmood, 31, was jailed for eight years after he admitted misconduct in public office in relation to an audacious scam that saw him "seize" cash from drug dealers during fake vehicle searches before handing the money to an organised crime gang.
Mahmood, from Harlow, Essex, was able to enter two police stations while on long-term sick leave and illegally take out marked and unmarked vehicles, including a minibus, in order to commit crime.
Yet Mahmood (above in a police mug shot) was not arrested until 51 days after a covert surveillance team witnessed him carry out, with an associate dressed as a police man, a seizure from a suspect who later reported the cash as stolen.
This allowed Mahmood to take more vehicles illegally and take part in further seizures before he was finally stopped.
Dave McKelvey, a retired Met Police DCI, said: "It shows a complete lack of supervision.
"Vehicles booked out should be checked by a supervisor on a daily basis and they can be tracked as can the radio.
"There's a system to book on and off shift and the supervisor on duty is meant to know where everyone is - it is bizarre he got away with this so long."
Ioan Gherghel, 34, accompanied Mahmood on one of the seizures dressed as a fake police officer.
Gherghel and Mahmood worked for brothers Moshin, 36, (pictured top right with Mahmood in Dubai) Shazad, 33, and Shabaz Khan, 33, an organised crime gang involved in drug supply, who the court heard were told what to do by Mutjaba Neazmand, from Dubai.
The gang would pay other drug dealers huge amounts of cash before getting Mahmood to take it back during the fake seizures.
At least £850,000 was taken over five months, but it is believed the offending started much earlier. He also carried out unlawful police national computer checks on investigations into Mr Neazmand.
Southwark Crown Court heard this month corrupt relationship between Mahmood, the Khans and
SEIZED: Cash found in Gherghel's home (Met Police)
Gherghel went back to at least January 2018 when they set up a WhatsApp group together.
Mahmood and the Khans were photographed together in Dubai and he flew back from Dubai with Moshin Khan in September 2019.
In December 2019, while off duty, Mahmood took an unmarked police car from Stoke Newington station and used it in a failed seizure attempt.
In January 2020, on a rest day, he took a marked police minibus to the Isle pf Dogs, where there was a seizure involving £400,000.
He went on extended sick leave two days later and deposited £5,000 into his bank.
Mahmood's corruption only came to light because the next known seizure was from a man under surveillance by the Met's money laundering team.
On March 8, while on sick leave, he took a police car and picked up Gherghel who was in police uniform.
They pulled by the target's Range Rover in Chingford, east London.
The prosecution said the pair took a significant cash amount, but did not arrest him.
Once the victim left, the money laundering team asked Mahmood (pictured above left with two of the Khans) why he did the stop and if there had been a bag in the car and asked him to provide an intelligence report.
That evening Mahmood went to Bethnal Green Police station and asked a traffic Sergeant to reset the black box in the vehicle.
He then went to Stoke Newington station and just after midnight began creating a false crime report about the search.
The victim later made a statement to police saying two police officers had taken a significant sum of cash from him.
But, on March 9 Mahmood returned to Stoke Newington and took the same vehicle to use in a failed seizure.
Despite concerns from the drug courier and the money laundering team about Mahmood, he was able to get another police car from on March 13 when another seizure took place in Poplar.
Next day Mahmood bought a £7,700 Rolex watch from a jewellers in Harlow and paid £8,000 for a holiday.
On March 25 he took another vehicle and another cash seizure took place in Wembley.
Yet, Mahmood was not arrested until April 28.
AWARD: Mahmmod was commended for bravery earlier in his career (Met Police)
During sentencing Judge David Tomlinson asked: "How was he able to access cars while off duty and on sick leave?"
Peter Ratliff, prosecuting, said: "The process may not have been robust as it ought to at Stoke Newington and he was an experienced and well known officer."
The Khans, Gherghel and Moshin Khan's partner Maria Shah, 34, were collectively jailed for 56 years four months from drugs and money laundering offences.
Three other police officers, a man and two women connected to Mahmood, were arrested and suspended in connection with the case.
One of the women has been charged with concealing criminal proceeds.
The two others were released with no further action but remain under investigation for gross misconduct.
A Met Police spokesman said: "Mahmood had a number of excuses, for example, claiming he was on police business unrelated to his day job but this matter has highlighted learning in terms of access officers have to police stations and vehicles while off sick.
"Thankfully Mahmood’s case is rare and we trust our police officers that they are working to serve the people inside police buildings and while on the streets.
"We share concerns about Mahmood’s activities and the level of supervision he was under and work to address these issues is being progressed by Central East Command Unit and colleagues who lead on prevention and learning within the Department of Professional Standards."