October 20 2014 Latest news:
Friday, July 18, 2014
Gang members carrying out a string of armed hold-ups and robberies across east London have been jailed at the Old Bailey for a total of 90 years between them.
The six men and one woman came from addresses in Plaistow, Barking, Ilford, Chadwell Heath, Upminster and Walthamstow.
They were finally caught when armed police and officers from the Met’s Flying Squad foiled a raid at Milap mini-supermarket in High Road, Chadwell Heath, in a proactive operation codenamed Op Exbar.
Two of the gang entered the store armed with a gun on August 8 last year, threatened a staff member and stole cash and goods.
But police were waiting for them as they tried to escape. Two more were arrested at the wheels of the gang’s getaway cars.
Their lookout sitting in his Audi parked in a pub car-park opposite was arrested in Whalebone Lane North after trying to flee from the scene.
The organised gang used walkie-talkies to co-ordinate the hold-up.
A sixth gang member was arrested several days later when investigators discovered he had provided the getaway cars and insurance and was also in the vicinity on the day of the robbery.
Detectives then linked gang members to other armed raids.
These included robbery at Maxcroft Securities pawnbroker’s and money transfer centre in Eastern Avenue, Gant’s Hill.
The manager was pistol-whipped. Then he and a woman staff member were hit several times with the stun gun.
One of the gang had entered the store holding a box with the name ‘Rolex’ and staff thought he wanted to pawn a watch—only to have a semi-automatic pistol pulled on them as other gang-members poured in.
The raiders ransacked the premises taking jewellery, watches and £60,000 cash.
The gang also forced their way into a house in Norfolk Road, Ilford, with a firearm and a stun-gun disguised as a torch, and carried out burglaries at three flats in a block in south-east London.
“We have removed a dangerous gang who came together to cause fear and disruption in east London.” said Det Chief Insp Steve Ellen of the Flying Squad. “They spent time organising their attacks and always had a plan to make their escape.”
The gang faced more than 40 charges between them which included carrying and possessing firearms and prohibited weapons, robbery, burglary and aggravated burglary.
The sentences meeted out today follow an earlier nine-week trial.
Michael Carbon, 26, from Queens Terrace, Plaistow, was jailed for 10 years.
Francis Carbon, 32, from Mersea House in Crows Road, Barking, got 18 years.
Kelly Day, 36, from Northbrook Road, Ilford — the only woman in the gang — received six years.
Paulius Strasunskas, 27, from Marston Road, also in Ilford, received 15 years.
Aamir Kayani, 31, from Elgin House in Whalebone Lane North, Chadwell Heath, was sentenced to 17 years.
Amarjeet Bharj, 48, from Front Lane, Upminster, was caged for 15 years.
David Sadiku, 41, from Walthamstow, got 13 years.
A quad bike rider was in a critical condition in hospital last night after crashing into two vehicles.