A security van driver has been jailed for robbing his OWN vehicle as it delivered money to cash machines.
Fasile Mahmood, 26, was one of five men jailed after the robbery of more than £600,000 from his van as it made its delivered though north London.
He had worked for the company for six years at the time of the robbery in April 2014, and was responsible for replenishing cash machines across the capital.
On the day of the heist, two other members of the gang, Attif Hussain and Aroon Choudry, had been following the security van in a Vauxhall Astra as the cash was delivered.
As the delivery van made its way to its second delivery in Camden, two of the gang, armed with a knife and a spanner jumped in the front and rear of the vehicle and threatened the van crew.
The gang member at the back of the van assaulted the cash guard, who was completely unaware of the plan to rob the vehicle, and forced him to open the safes to access the cash inside.
At the front of the van the gang member allegedly punched the driver, Mahmood, in the head and tied his hands before driving the van to a nearby street.
The cash was unloaded into the boot of a Ford Focus before two other gang members, Muhsin Ahmed and Saqib Ahmed escaped in the car with £615,000.
The Metropolitan police’s Flying Squad found the getaway Ford was a rental vehicle rented from a car hire company in Luton.
Flying Squad Detective Constable Tim Fines said: “Suspicions were raised at this point as one of the victims, Fasile Mahmood was from Luton.
“The Ford Focus had been parked at the scene prior to the robbery and was ready to be used by the thieves to escape with the cash.
“The route taken by the security van changed daily and was always supplied to the driver on the day. In order to have put the Focus in place in advance the thieves had to have known the route that the security van would take.
“Fasile Mahmood had collected that day’s delivery route and communicated it to the rest of the gang before he left the depot.”
At Harrow Crown Court on Friday the gang of five men, four from Luton, were jailed for a total of more than 37 years for conspiracy to rob.
Mahmood, 26, and Hussain, 30, were both jailed for eight years, while 25-year-old Mushin Ahmed was jailed for six years and nine months.
Choudry, 29, was jailed for seven years, and Bradford resident Saqib Ahmed, 40, was jailed for seven years and six months for conspiracy to rob.
Two of the suspects were arrested after fleeing to Pakistan.
Attif Hussain was found to have left the country for Pakistan in October, and was arrested when he returned in November.
Choudry was arrested on board a flight at Heathrow bound for Pakistan.
The plane was taxiing down the runway when officers brought it to a stop to arrest him onboard.
Police say no money has been recovered yet from robbery but detectives have made a number of applications to seize property under the Proceeds of Crime Act were underway.
Detective Inspector Scott Hartley, of the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This has been a complex and time-consuming investigation.
“The study of telephone data and CCTV alone resulted in months of work.
“I am very pleased that the sentences handed down today have reflected the severity of this crime and the hard work of the dedicated and diligent officers that brought this gang to justice.”