Bank rob­bers jailed for 100 years

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Seven men who took part in an £8m bank rob­bery have re­ceived jail terms to­talling nearly 100 years.

The raid at the Bank of Amer­ica in May­fair, Lon­don, last year is be­lieved to be the world’s big­gest. Pass­ing sen­tence, Judge Alan King-Hamilton said he was de­ter­mined the thieves would not en­joy the fruits of their haul, only £500,000 of which has been re­cov­ered.

“What has been con­cealed will re­main salted away so far as you are con­cerned for a great many years.

“What­ever has hap­pened to it, it will not be used for your ben­e­fit,” Judge KingHamil­ton said.

Key ev­i­dence in the trial came from Stu­art Buck­ley, the “in­side man” who turned po­lice in­for­mant.

Buck­ley, who worked at the bank as an elec­tri­cian, told of­fi­cers the raid was the gang’s sec­ond at­tempt.

They had pre­vi­ously tried un­suc­cess­fully to drill through the bank vault’s lock.

Crim­i­nal bank­ruptcy or­ders

Buck­ley fi­nally ob­tained the com­bi­na­tion by hid­ing in the roof space above the vault door and peer­ing through a hole in the ceil­ing as of­fi­cials opened it.

Judge King-Hamilton passed the long­est sen­tences on those con­sid­ered to be the ring­leaders.

Safe-cracker Leonard Wilde was sent to jail for 23 years and Peter Col­son, 32, a used car dealer, for 21 years.

The judge also or­dered crim­i­nal bank­ruptcy or­ders for £500,000 against both men.

Oth­ers in the gang were sen­tenced to pe­ri­ods rang­ing from 18 years for rob­bery to three years for re­ceiv­ing stolen goods.

How­ever, the man said to have mas­ter­minded the crime ap­pears to have es­caped jus­tice.

Frank Maple left Bri­tain shortly after the rob­bery and is now be­lieved to be in the African state of Morocco which has no ex­tra­di­tion treaty with the UK.

Stu­art Buck­ley, who was sen­tenced separately, re­ceived seven years for his part in the raid.

The Bank of Amer­ica theft was small com­pared to a rob­bery in Jan­uary the same year at the Bri­tish Bank of the Mid­dle East in Le­banon.

The thieves es­caped with safe de­posit boxes whose con­tents were val­ued at up to £22m.

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