Two security guards who stole £7million in cash in ‘one of the biggest’ airport heists in British history now face lengthy jails terms after being convicted.
The ‘inside job’ began when 28 bags of cash were loaded into a heavy armour-plated van driven by Mohammad Siddique at the BA cargo depot at Heathrow Airport.
Siddique then drove it out of the security gates of the depot with Ranjeev Singh (40) in the passenger seat before he parked up at Heathrow Terminal 4.
They then made it look as if the van had been hijacked while Singh was in the toilet.
Singh had claimed he got out of the truck to use the loo shortly after it left the depot and said the van and Siddique had disappeared when he reemerged.
Siddique was found a few hours later in a ditch with his hands tied behind his back and his feet bound with cable ties. The money was gone and has never been recovered
But investigators became suspicious after realising Singh had waiting in the toilet cubicle for 20 minutes and calmly smoked a cigarette before he bothered to raise the alarm.
The delay allowed Siddique to transfer the stolen loot from the Loomis security van into a second vehicle without having to worry about the firm’s control centre immobilising the vehicle.
When officers questioned Siddique at the scene he told them he was forced to take part in the robbery by an unknown man who threatened to burn his house down and made threats to his children.
He said the mystery man wearing a ‘beanie with a hoodie over it’ showed him footage of a house on fire and told him: ‘I know your three boys also live at this address. I know what school they go to’.
But Siddique and Singh were convicted of conspiracy to steal after a two week trial at Kingston Crown Court.
Prosecutor Sandip Patel QC said: “It was an audacious theft carefully planned and executed and you may think it would make a Hollywood movie script, they would call it the ‘Heathrow Heist’ if anyone wanted to write a script about it.”
“It is one of the biggest in British criminal history, there have been bigger, but £7million in a significant amount.
“It was also an inside job, to use the colloquialism, and we say it had to be and inside job by these two defendants.
“They acted out their parts to the scripts they had already agreed.”
Ringleader Rafaqat Hussain, 41, who made sure the job ran smoothly and helped launder the money, admitted involvement before the trial began.
Hussain’s wife Razvana Zeib, 34, also admitted charges including conspiracy to commit burglary and money launder.
Garry Carrod admitted conspiracy to commit burglary
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Bedford, of the Met’s Flying Squad, said after the convictions: ‘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.’