Corrupt detective sergeant jailed for pocketing £83,000 seized from Heathrow passengers | London

A Detective Sergeant has been jailed for stealing tens of thousands of pounds of cash from holidaymakers at Heathrow.

Met Police DS Michael Harrington took between £75,000 and £83,000 over the course of five years from unsuspecting passengers.

The 58-year-old was jailed for four-and-a-half years for admitting 16 counts of theft – all carried out while he was meant to be working.

The financial investigator was tasked with seizing unauthorised cash from passengers travelling in and out of Britain.

But instead of handing the cash over to bosses, Harrington falsely recorded it had been given back to the passengers – and pocketed it himself.

On other occasions he recorded the amounts seized to be less than they actually were – and kept the cash.

His cruel crimes even ruined two weddings, because his victims were unable to travel with the cash presents they had wanted to give the newlyweds.

Harrington also denied a victim the opportunity to have an interpreter present when confiscating legitimate money.

He was eventually caught, five years after beginning his scam, when victims started to contact his own colleagues about getting their money back.

Cowardly Harrington had previously failed to turn up to an earlier sentencing hearing, prompting a warrant to be issued for his arrest.

He was sentenced to four years and six months in prison for 16 counts of theft at Southwark Crown Court today.

Harrington took advantage of a number of passengers including foreign nationals making their way through Heathrow Airport.

He abused his position as a financial investigator for the police, contributing to significant stress and financial hardship for some of his victims.

He called victims into the police station to discuss his fabricated plans to get their money back – even telling one that he would have to wait up to three years.

When under pressure he also paid money back to a victim from his own bank account, and attempted to make the transfer look like it came from an official Metropolitan Police Service bank account.

A number of empty evidence bags used to seize money from passengers passing through Heathrow Airport were also found at his home address.

The overwhelming evidence against Harrington meant that he had no choice but to admit his crimes.

– Riaz Jakhura, Crown Prosecution Service

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