Sussex Police officer admits laundering drugs cash

Posted On 26 Jul 2010 at 11:52 pm

Sussex police officer, PC Darren Graysmark, pleaded guilty today to money laundering and was remanded on bail for sentencing to take place on a date yet to be set by the court.

Graysmark, 44, of Coney Furlong, Peacehaven, appeared on bail at Maidstone Crown Court

The Special Branch officer had been arrested by detectives from his own force’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit in April last year as part of an inquiry into alleged drugs trafficking.

He was suspended on full pay and remanded on bail.

Graysmark has 23 years service with Sussex Police, and was a PC at the force’s Newhaven Ports Unit at the time of his arrest.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of money laundering a total of £80,921.47 over five years up to April 2009 in breach of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

He has today notified the force of his intention to resign, giving the statutory one month’s notice, and this has been accepted.

He will remain suspended in the meantime.

Giles York, Deputy Chief Constable of Sussex, said; “Darren Graysmark let himself, his colleagues and the public down, in knowingly benefiting from organised crime.

“He took money which was the proceeds of crime and used to it support his own lifestyle.

“As soon as our detectives found out, immediate action was taken to arrest him and seize his assets.

“Our response to this isolated example of police criminality sends a clear message that there is no tolerance in the police service for criminal activity by anyone who works for us.

“The public must expect more of Sussex Police in serving Sussex.”

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Paice, of the Sussex Police Serious and Organised Crime Unit, said: “To start with, Graysmark tried to maintain that he had no knowledge of any criminal activity.

“But eventually it became clear to him that he could not continue with that pretence and he has now accepted that he knew money which was funding his comfortable lifestyle was the proceeds of crime.”

Sussex Police will now examine all the evidence compiled about Graysmark’s financial affairs and will then seek a court confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Graysmark’s offences came to light when police stopped his car, which was being driven alone on the northbound A23 at Handcross by his partner Darren Simpson, 42, a manager at Brighton and Hove City Council.

When officers stopped his car on the early evening of Wednesday 8 April last year, they found three blocks of cocaine weighing 3kg and with an estimated potential street value of £148,000.

Simpson, of the same address as Graysmark, was arrested and charged with having the cocaine with intent to supply.

Inquiries led detectives straight to Graysmark’s address where they seized a quantity of financial correspondence, together with £12,000 cash which was made subject of a detention order.

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