East London gang convicted following Chadwell Heath police sting

Paulius Strasunskas, 27.

Paulius Strasunskas, 27. - Credit: Archant

An organised criminal gang who coordinated armed robberies across east London - including Ilford - were today convicted for their offences.

Michael Carbon, 26, David Sadiku, 41, Paulius Strasunskas, 27, of Marston Road, South Woodford, Francis Carbon, 32 and Aamir Kayani, 31, of Elgin House, Whalebone Lane North, were convicted at The Old Bailey following a nine-week trial.

All seven members of the gang have now been convicted following Amarjeet Bharj’s conviction.

Bharj, of Front Lane, Upminster, was found guilty of two counts of robbery, burglary, two firearms offences and possession of a prohibited weapon.

The seventh member of the gang was Kelly Day, of Northbrook Road, Ilford, who was convicted of robbery and possession of a firearm. Day pleaded guilty to her offences.

All seven will be sentenced on July 18.

The offences occurred during last summer, but on August 8 officers from the Flying Squad, supported by armed police, foiled a robbery at Milap mini-supermarket in High Road, Chadwell Heath after a proactive operation.

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Michael Carbon and Strasunskas, armed with a handgun, entered the store and threatened a member of staff.

They then stole cash and other items of property.

As they returned to their getaway vehicle officers arrested them.

Francis Carbon and Strasunskas were arrested nearby in control of two getaway vehicles, and Kayani by the Direct Golf driving range, Whalebone Lane North, having fled the scene.

He acted as lookout from his Audi which was parked in a public house car park opposite the venue.

The gang used walkie-talkies to co-ordinate their attack.

The firearm and a quantity of cash were recovered from them, and a male member of staff required hospital treatment for minor injuries.

A sixth man, Amarjeet Bharj, 48, was arrested several days later when enquiries established he was facilitating the offence by helping the group, as well as being present on the day of the robbery.

Reactive enquiries then linked members of this criminal gang to three other offences in Eastern Avenue, Newbury Park, on July 5 and Norfolk Road, Seven Kings, in June. An aggravated burglary took place in Norfolk Road in June whereby the suspects forced their way into a residential address armed with a firearm and a stun-gun disguised as a Mag-Lite torch.

They were prevented from stealing anything after being forced back by residents of the address.

In July an armed robbery took place at Maxcroft Securities, a pawnbroker and money transfer centre in Eastern Avenue, Ilford.

Sadiku and 36-year-old Day entered the store, and Sadiku approached the counter carrying a green box. Staff assumed he was there to pawn a watch, but he then pulled a semi-automatic pistol from his rear waistband.

Day held the doors open for Strasunskas and Francis Carbon to enter the premises.