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Kashif Mahood: The corrupt cop who seized money for criminal gangs

Kashif Mahmood's mugshot
Image: Kashif Mahmood | Cops Gone Bad With Will Mellor

Presented by Will Mellor, Cops Gone Bad covers seven new cases to expose murderers, fraudsters, swindlers, sexual predators and drug dealers within the police force. One episode is centred around Kashif Mahmood and his illicit activities.

The show airs Mondays at 9pm on Crime + Investigation and is available to stream on Crime + Investigation Play.

On the face of it, he was a dedicated officer in the Metropolitan Police. But Kashif Mahmood was unmasked as a bent copper who abused the power and authority granted to him by the badge.

A challenging childhood

The story of Kashif Mahmood is that of a classic fall from grace – a cop who’d overcome the odds to become an upstanding member of society, only to throw it all away to make what he thought was easy cash.

As his barrister later relayed in court, Mahmood had a ‘challenging’ childhood and had been under immense peer pressure to join a criminal gang. He refused and his integrity even led to him being stabbed. But Mahmood emerged from all of this to become the first person in his family to go to university, and then he successfully achieved his boyhood ambition of becoming a police officer.

What’s more, he even married a police officer, Shareen Kashif. Together, they seemed all set up for a long, respectable career as part of the police family. Instead, both of their careers came crashing down in spectacular fashion.

The robber cop

What his colleagues could never have imagined was that Kashif Mahmood – who had received multiple commendations during his career – was secretly in cahoots with a criminal gang being controlled from Dubai.

Using the encrypted mobile messaging network EncroChat – a huge hit with international criminals – Mahmood was tipped off to deals being carried out by gangland couriers. He then turned up at the sites, sometimes in his police uniform and driving his patrol car, to pretend that he was a legitimate crimefighter with the right intentions.

Accompanied on some occasions by a bodybuilder friend posing as a police officer, Mahmood confiscated the cash being carried by the couriers – cash that was connected to drug deals and was en route to being laundered.

According to chat transcripts obtained from the mobile network, at least £850,000 had been taken by Mahmood using this audacious but rather elegant method. To everybody looking on, he always appeared to be a dedicated officer carrying out his dangerous duties on the streets of London. But in fact, he was effectively functioning as a modern-day highwayman in copper’s clothing.

Cracking the crooks’ communications

In 2020, French and Dutch authorities made a major breakthrough when they hacked the EncroChat network. The service utilised cleverly modified handsets that were super-secure, so it was no wonder that tens of thousands of criminals in Europe were paying around £1,500 for six-month contracts.

Following the French hack, detectives in the UK got in on what the National Crime Agency described as the law enforcement equivalent of breaking the Enigma Code.

Detectives spent up to 20 hours a day reading through the formerly encrypted chats taking place between drug lords and their minions. As one cop put it, ‘Sometimes it was like being in a room with them and they’re talking freely and they don't see you there.’

A lot of the criminals were remarkably indiscreet behind the supposedly impenetrable digital barrier, sending each other selfies and birthday wishes in between planning their deals. One villain shared a photo of his girlfriend’s French bulldog, which led to his identity being discovered by police.

In all, thanks to the hack, police were able to seize millions of pounds in illicit cash, dozens of firearms (including submachine guns), and tonnes of class A and B drugs. They also made hundreds of arrests. One of the men apprehended was Kashif Mahmood, who some of the EncroChat users – employing their usual tact and subtlety – dubbed ‘Kash the Fed’.

Facing the music

By the time he was caught, Kashif Mahmood had been living it up with his ill-gotten gains, enjoying holidays to Dubai and splurging on luxury watches. It turned out he’d also been brazen enough to use police computers to gather intelligence for his gangland mates.

In August 2020, Mahmood pleaded guilty to conspiracy to acquire criminal property and misconduct in public office. The following May, he was handed an eight-year sentence, with the judge saying he had ‘abused his position of power, trust and responsibility’. His own barrister remarked that ‘the punishment he has brought upon himself is substantial. It seems that in the end his background has caught up with him.’

But that wasn’t the end of the saga for the Mahmoods. His police officer wife, Shareen Kashif, also had to face the music in court in January 2022, after she admitted concealing stolen property. Namely, wads of cash which her husband had stolen and kept stashed in a shoebox.

She claimed she’d only become aware of what he had been up to in the days before their home was raided by the police. Despite being ‘very angry’ with him, she’d gone on to do a ‘silly and stupid thing’ by helping him hide the shoebox when the police raid took place.

Even though the money had never been recovered, the fact that Shareen Kashif was the sole carer for the couple’s three-year-old daughter encouraged the judge to be lenient and she was given a suspended sentence. One of the most shaming chapters in the history of crooked policing had finally come to an end.