THREE men who were part of a conspiracy to steal £7million cash from their employer have been sentenced to a total of 23 years in jail.
Mohammed Naheen Siddique, 32, of Belgrave Road, Slough, and Ranjeev Singh, 40, of Grampian Way, Slough, staged a robbery on March 14 as part of a plot to steal 19 bags of cash due to be transported to the Bank of Ireland.
The pair were helped by Rafaqat Hussain, 41, of Chadwick Road, Slough, who was in regular contact with them on the day of the theft.
During their trial at Kingston Crown Court, which finished this week, the court heard Siddique and Singh, who both worked for the cash handling company Loomis, were tasked with picking up £7million in cash from the British Airways cargo depot at Heathrow Airport.
CCTV footage revealed that shortly after the money was picked up at 8.30am the Loomis van pulled over outside the security gates to allow Singh to use the toilet – an unauthorised stop not approved by their employers.
While Singh was in the toilet, Siddique drove off and then parked it a short distance away in West View, Feltham.
Singh took 20 minutes to raise the alarm with his employer and, when asked whether he had tried to contact Siddique, he said he did not have his phone.
The delay in alerting the Loomis control centre enabled Siddique, who was helped by another man, to unload the bags of cash into a white Transit van parked in West View.
To create the impression of a robbery, Siddique’s hands and ankles were bound with cable ties and he was left on a service road near the M40 in Buckinghamshire.
Siddique was later found by a member of the public at 11.15am
Flying Squad detectives arrested Singh and Siddique after suspicions were raised by Singh’s unexplainable delay in raising the alarm and Siddique’s inconsistent account of what had happened.
All three men were caught as the result of an investigation by the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad and were sentenced on Wednesday, October 18 at Kingston Crown Court.
Siddique and Singh, who were both convicted after a three-week trial, were sentenced to six-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.
Hussain, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to commit money laundering at Kingston Crown Court on September 11, was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.
Hussain’s wife Razvana Zeib was also later arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering after investigations revealed £900,000 had been transferred to a Pakistani bank account opened in her name.
Zeib and another defendant, Gary Carrod, were also charged with conspiracy to burgle after a house in Stoke Poges, which Hussain was planning to buy, was burgled and ransacked in an attempt to reduce the price.
Gary Carrod, 33, of Nursery Road, Taplow, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle at Kingston Crown Court on September 11, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.
Razvana Zeib, 35, of Chadwick Road, Slough, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to commit money laundering at Kingston Crown Court on September 11.
She is due to be sentenced at a later date.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bedford, of the Met’s Flying Squad, said: "The sentences handed to these defendants today reflect the high value of the monies stolen, the meticulous planning involved and the complete breach of trust by Siddique and Singh, without whom the offence would not have been possible.
“These sentences should act as a deterrent to anyone considering committing this type of offence."