Two security guards who staged a fake robbery to steal £7m from their own cash-in-transit van outside Heathrow Airport have been convicted yesterday (5 October).
On 14 March 2017, a security van was loaded with 26 bags of cash at the BA Cargo depot at Heathrow Airport. Mohammad Siddique, 32, drove it out of the security gates of the depot with Ranjeev Singh, 40, in the passenger seat.
Siddique then stopped the vehicle to allow Singh to take what was claimed to be a toilet break. Siddique then drove off from the depot at speed on his own.
Singh waited inside the toilet block for some time before alerting colleagues to Siddique’s disappearance a few minutes later. He claimed that he could not contact anyone earlier as he had left his own mobile phone in the vehicle.
In reality he knew that, if he had alerted his employers straightaway, they would have had the ability to immobilise the van and their entire plot would have been foiled. In fact, Singh had a second phone all along, stored in his jacket pocket, which he used to speak to Siddique with whilst he was in the toilet.
The security van was later found abandoned, but with the engine still running, in West View, Feltham. Nineteen bags of cash totalling £7m were missing from the rear of the vehicle.
As part of the staged robbery, Siddique was discovered a few hours later elsewhere by a member of the public. He had been bound with cable ties and left by a roadside.
When questioned at the scene he told police officers that he had been contacted weeks before the “robbery” by an unknown man at his home. He said this man had threatened to burn his home down and forced him to take part in the plan, ultimately leaving him tied up as he was found.
The prosecution presented mobile phone data to the court to show that Siddique had in fact been in contact with his co-conspirators on the day and was directly involved in the heist.
Siddique and Singh were both found guilty at Kingston Crown Court. Rafaqat Hussain, 41, who helped stage the robbery with Siddique and Singh, as well as laundering the money, pleaded guilty on 12 September 2017.
Hussain’s wife Razvana Zeib, 35, also pleaded guilty to money laundering in connection with the fake robbery.
Zeib, Hussain and another man, Garry Carrod, 34, also pleaded guilty to an offence of burglary in which they organised for a house they wanted to buy with their share of the proceeds to be ransacked in an attempt to bring down the price.
They will all be sentenced on 18 October.
Helen Shaw from the CPS said: “Ranjeev Singh, Mohammad Siddique and Rafaqat Hussain staged this theft to steal £7m which has still not been recovered, crafting a plan to make it appear that they were victims.
“Their elaborate plot quickly unravelled when inconsistencies in their story became apparent.
“The prosecution used interrogation of mobile phone records and CCTV evidence to highlight the lies they told police, leading to today’s convictions.”
— Report UK (@ReportUK) October 6, 2017