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Police officer sacked for turning ‘blind eye’ to criminal husband

(PA)
(PA)

A police officer has been sacked for allegedly turning a “blind eye” to signs her husband was responsible for the theft of stacks of cash from a criminal gang, Scotland Yard says.

The Met Police has dismissed Pc Inga Gherghel without notice after a misconduct hearing concluded on June 30, finding gross misconduct proven.

It comes after her husband Ioan Gherghel, 36, of Stratford, east London, was jailed for six years in May 2021 after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to acquire criminal property.

Kashif Mahmood court case
Ioan Gherghel was jailed for six years (Met Police)

He was one of six people – including former Met Police officer Kashif Mahmood – who were sentenced after admitting a range of offences following a wider Met investigation.

The misconduct panel, led by an independent legally qualified chair, heard evidence relating to the arrest of Pc Gherghel’s husband on April 28, 2020.

A search of the couple’s home found an MPS MetVest – force-issued body armour – inside a cupboard, but it had not been issued to Pc Gherghel.

A shoebox containing more than £10,000 in cash was also discovered in a bedroom wardrobe.

The hearing found that Pc Gherghel was aware of these items and “wilfully failed to inquire further into the origin or purpose of the items and as to what either might be doing in her flat”, the Met said.

Commander Marcus Barnett, in charge of policing at the Central East Command Unit, said: “It is the duty of any police officer to report criminality to police and Pc Gherghel turned a blind eye to the actions of her husband.

“This was exacerbated by the fact a MetVest was found at her home that had not been issued to her.

“As the investigation shows, we are determined to root out officers in the Met who do not demonstrate the right qualities and we will prosecute and dismiss them from our force.”

Pc Gherghel will now be added to the barred list held by the College of Policing, a professional body for the police in England and Wales.

Those on the list cannot be employed by police, local policing bodies (PCCs), The Independent Office for Police Conduct or Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services.

Disgraced former officer Mahmood, of Woodcroft, in Harlow, Essex, was 32 when he was jailed for eight years in May after admitting conspiracy to acquire criminal property and misconduct in public office.

He used his position in the force to help an organised gang seize money from other criminals, the court heard.

He dressed in his uniform and used marked and unmarked police cars to travel to locations where the gang knew “significant quantities of criminal cash” would be exchanged, and took it himself while pretending to be doing his duties, jurors were told.

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”.

There is no suggestion Pc Gherghel committed any crimes.