A Barclays banker who operated as a "personal bank manager" to two Moldovan cyber criminals to help them launder over £2.5m in stolen money has been jailed.

Jinal Pethad worked at the Ealing branch of the high street bank, creating 105 sham bank accounts using false ID documents.

The 29-year-old, of Whistler Gardens, Edgware, north London, was assisting cyber money launderers Pavel Gincota and Ion Turcan and helping to manage their accounts by ensuring that the receipt of stolen money was not blocked by the bank's security processes.

Gincota and Turcan were essentially free to send money between themselves but were jailed for the conspiracy in October 2016 after an investigation by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The next month, Pethad was arrested and he was sentenced to six years and four months at the Old Bailey on Tuesday (12 December) after he admitted to conspiring to launder money between 2014 and 2016.

Mark Cains, from the NCA's National Cyber Crime Unit, said: "Jinal Pethad abused his position of trust at the bank to knowingly set up sham accounts for Gincota and Turcan, providing a vital service which enabled them to launder millions.

"Using his knowledge of the financial system, he made sure the stolen money was not blocked before entering these accounts, and provided the pair with reports to evidence his efforts and maintain the criminal relationship.

"The NCA works with industry and law enforcement partners to target cyber crime at every level. We are determined to disrupt the flow of illegal money to prevent it funding further criminality."

Gincota and Turcan, who were jailed for five years eight months and seven years' respectively, had used the infamous Dridex malware to steal the funds, and then paid Pethad for his role.

NCA officers recovered over £4,000 in cash from Pethad's home, seven luxury watches and three mobile phones, some of which had been used to communicate with Gincota.

One of the exchanges Gincota referenced the opening of new accounts. "Can I bring two guys for open acc pls??? 1-german; 1-france; or 2-france; who u want? Let me know pls!"(sic) it read.

Tom Guest, of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), said: "Pethad abused his position of trust in his job to set up more than 100 accounts, and to access further fake accounts, all for the purpose of hiding and obtaining money stolen from businesses and individuals."