A corrupt police officer who was working for an organised crime group used his uniform and patrol car to carry out fake stops on gangsters and confiscate hundreds of thousands of pounds, a court has heard.
Pc Kashif Mahmood, who worked for the Metropolitan Police, regularly jetted off to Dubai and also bought luxury watches with the proceeds of activities.
On one occasion, accompanied by a Romanian gangster, the 31-year-old stole £850,000 in drug money from a group of criminals in east London.
He was caught when invigators in France managed to crack the Encrochat encrypted phone platform that was used by criminals to communicate with one another.
Mahmood admitted misconduct by using police information technology systems, vehicles, uniform and powers to facilitate the commission of criminal offences by himself and others.
He is appearing for sentencing at Southwark Crown Court alongside Ilford-based gangsters, twins Shabaz Khan, 32, and Shazad Khan, 32, and their older brother, Moshin Khan, 35, who have admitted supplying class A drugs and conspiracy to acquire criminal property.
Peter Ratliff, prosecuting, said: "Kashif Mahmood was at the heart of the most audacious aspect of the organised crime group's criminal conduct, the conspiracy to acquire criminal property.
"It was this aspect of the criminality which led to their downfall. As and when required by the organised crime group, Kashif Mahmood would take marked and unmarked police vehicles, and, dressed in his police uniform, travel to locations where the organised crime group were engaged in or aware of the transfer of significant quantities of criminal cash, which was either to be laundered or reflected payment for wholesale quantities of drugs.
"Mahmood would then endeavour to seize this, under the pretence of the lawful exercise of his powers as a police officer."
The court heard that as well as the incident in which £850,000 was taken, there was another successful seizure of an unspecified amount.
Mahmood was also known to have been involved in another unsuccessful attempt to steal £500,000 from criminals.
Mr Ratliff said the investigation, carried out by the Met's anti-corruption unit, revealed that the Khan brothers were engaged in the wholesale movement of significant quantities of class A drugs and were laundering thousands of pounds in cash.
Mahmood seized unsuspecting criminals' cash "under the pretext of lawful exercise of his powers as a police officer", said Mr Ratliff.
The court heard that Mahmood and the Khans were "long-standing associates" and were photographed together in Dubai.
The officer purchased a £6,000 Rolex watch from a jeweller in Harrow on 14 March last year, and booked a £8,000 TUI holiday, which was later refunded to him, the court heard.
Mahmood was working at the Emergency Response Team at Stoke Newington police station at the time of the plot between November 2019 and July 2020.
He was dismissed from the force at a disciplinary hearing last year.
The tribunal found it proved that he had driven a marked police car while his associate posed as a police officer to seize cash which was due to be laundered or was payment for drugs.
The sentencing hearing continues.