12:25PM, Friday 13 October 2017
Two men who faked a robbery to steal £7million for themselves have been found guilty of conspiracy to steal following a three week trial.
Former security guards Mohammed Siddique, 32, of Belgrave Road, Slough, and Ranjeev Singh, 40, of Grampian Way, Slough, staged the robbery while working for a cash handling company in an attempt to steal 19 bags of cash which was due to be transported to the Bank of Ireland.
Kingston Crown Court heard the pair were working together for Loomis on the same shift on Tuesday, March 14, and had been tasked with picking up £7m in cash from Heathrow Airport.
CCTV showed 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, breaking all protocol and instructions.
While Singh used the toilet, Siddique drove off and parked a short distance away in West View, Feltham. Singh took 20 minutes to raise the alarm with his employer that the van had gone and, when asked if he had tried to contact Siddique, said he did not have his phone.
The delay enabled Siddique to unload the bags of cash into a white Transit van parked in West View, with the help of another man.
In order to create the impression that it had been 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, where he was found by a member of the public at 11.15am.
Flying Squad detectives arrested Singh and Siddique after suspicions were raised over the delay in raising the alarm and inconsistencies in Siddique’s account of what had happened.
During an interview in which he was being treated as a witness, Siddique claimed the theft had been organised by a man who had threatened to burn his house down.
However, analysis of a mobile phone found on Singh, who had claimed he did not have one, revealed it had been used to call Siddique during the period the cash was stolen.
The analysis also revealed 41-year-old Rafaqat Hussain, of Chadwick Road, Slough, who previously pleaded guilty to the conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to burgle and conspiracy to commit money laundering, had been in regular contact with Singh on the day of the theft.
At 9.24am on the day of the theft, about an hour after the money was picked up from the airport, Hussain called a recovery driver take the white Ford transit van to a nearby recycling centre to be scrapped. The money which had originally been transferred into the van is yet to be found.
Hussain’s wife Razvana Zeib, 35, also of Chadwick Road, Slough, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, after £900,000 had been transferred to a Pakistani bank account opened in her name.
Zeib and another defendant, Gary Carrod, 33, of Nursery Road, Taplow, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle after a house in Stoke Poges, which Hussain was planning to buy at a knockdown price, was burgled and ransacked.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bedford, of Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad, said: “Although this was an organised theft involving months of planning, it would not have been possible without the calculating and devious actions of Singh and Siddique who abused their positions to subvert the secure processes put in place to prevent this type of offence.
“The pair attempted to present themselves as victims of a robbery even going so far as arranging for Siddique to be tied up and left by a motorway to be found by innocent members of the public.
“However, a swift and thorough investigation by the Flying Squad uncovered their lies, led to their accomplices being identified and ensured their successful conviction at court.
“Both men are now likely to receive substantial custodial sentences reflecting their calculated abuse of their employer's trust and the value of the monies stolen.”
Sentencing will take place at a later date.
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