Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Big Time Robberies

What is remarkable in British gangland history is the lack of publicity for the mainly anonymous names that perpetrate potentially mind-boggling heists.  One was in 2002 and concerned a blag that was to go down at a company at Heathrow Airport called Swissport.  The Police had arrested a man who worked as a baggage handler, and so he offered the Police information about a forthcoming heist at one of the companies at the Airport.  He gave them the name of the organiser, John Beach.  From that, they set up serveillance, received co-operation from Swissport, and had a general idea when the job was to go ahead.  The intended target was cash and bullion worth £33,000,000.  It was foiled by the Flying Squad, arresting the gang as they carried out the raid.

    What about the attempted raid on the Millenium Dome?  Trying to smash their way in with a JCB, and snatch the most priceless diamond in the world?  An extremely audacious robbery that almost succeeded, but ultimately it would have been in vain.  The owners of the gem had been informed of the planned raid and had actually switched it for a fake gem.  Again, the perpetrators of this crime were not household names.  Not men who embrace publicity, fame and alleged "celebrity".  Not men who like to be photographed at funerals by Fleet Street photographers, or go to big get-togethers, slapping each other on the back, and acting italian by kissing on the cheek.  No, they did not court publicity, but they were undone by others, and jobs like these, the planning has to be admired and respected but their names will never live on unlike many gangsters who simply did not have the bottle or intelligence to carry out raids like these.