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Security guards jailed for role in 7 million Heathrow Airport heist

Two security guards have been jailed after staging a 7 million fake robbery from their own cash-in-transit van outside Heathrow Airport. One of the pair was found several hours later tied up and left by a roadside, with the van abandoned and the cash missing in a bid to make it look like the two men were victims. Loomis employees Mohammad Siddique, 32, and Ranjeev Singh, 40, were each jailed for six-and-a-half years after they were found guilty of conspiracy to steal at Kingston Crown Court earlier in October.

Another man, Rafaqat Hussain, who helped Siddique and Singh organise the heist, and was said to be “at the heart of the conspiracy”, was sentenced for 10 years and three months after pleading guilty in September to helping stage the robbery, launder the money and commit burglary. The money has never been recovered. During the trial, prosecutor Sandip Patel QC said the “audacious theft” was worthy of a Hollywood script and “carefully planned and executed”.

“It was an audacious theft carefully planned and executed and you may think it would make a Hollywood movie script, they would call it the ‘Heathrow Heist’ if anyone wanted to write a script about it.”

How the heist unfolded

On March 14, a security van was loaded with 26 bags of cash belonging to Credit Suisse at the BA cargo depot at Heathrow Airport. Siddique drove it out of the security gates of the depot with Singh in the passenger seat. He then stopped the vehicle to allow Singh to take what was claimed to be a toilet break.

Siddique then drove off with the 7million in cash. Singh waited inside the toilet block for some time before raising the alarm. He claimed he could not contact anyone earlier as he had left his mobile phone in the vehicle.

The security van was later found abandoned with its engine still running in West View, Feltham, while Siddique was found a few hours later tied up and left by a roadside. When questioned by police he said he had been contacted weeks before the robbery by an unknown man at his home. He claimed the man threatened to burn his home down and forced him to take part in the plan.

Mobile phones revealed conspiracy links

Although Singh claimed he left his mobile phone in the van before it was driven off, it emerged he had a second phone all along, stored in his jacket pocket, which he used to speak to Siddique while he was in the toilet. Mobile phone data was also presented by the prosecution to the court to show that Siddique had been in contact with his co-conspirators on the day of the heist and was directly involved. Secret recordings made by a device planted by police in Hussain’s car caught him admitting “I had all the cash, 7 million” and also heard him boast that he could buy any car he wanted with the stolen cash.

He said: “Mate it was a job, I f****** robbed 7 million.

“I want to lie low, I could buy a Ferrari, I want to chill for about six months, buy a couple of houses, flip them and make a bit of money.”

Sentencing the pair at Kingston Crown Court, Judge Stephen John told Siddique and Singh they “must now pay the price” after playing “for high stakes”. He called the staged robbery “a sophisticated operation which involved meticulous planning and execution”, in which Siddique and Singh “played (their) parts to perfection”. The court heard there are more people involved in the case that have not been identified.

Prosecutor Sandip Patel QC said someone with inside information would have been involved, Hussain knew that Siddique and Singh had been “assigned the Credit Suisse run well before they were officially told at around 7.15am that morning” after calling Siddique at 5.42am to make it clear that would be the day of the heist. A further man, Garry Carrod, was jailed for three-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary. He and Hussain, along with Hussain’s wife Razvana Zeib, both of Chadwick Road, Slough, organised a house they wanted to buy with their share of the 7 million to be ransacked in an attempt to bring down the price.

An 88-year-old woman was selling the house to fund a place in a care home, but after it was flooded and vandalised, with windows broken, her failure to tell insurers she was not living there at the time of the burglary meant they failed to pay out. Carrod, 34, from Taplow, Buckinghamshire, has 74 previous convictions, including one for conspiracy to steal vehicles with Hussain, who has 64 previous offences to his name. Hussain’s wife Zeib, 35, will be sentenced at a later date after she plead guilty to conspiracy to money launder and commit burglary.

East Croydon station ‘security alert’ and evacuation halts Southern Rail services to and from Gatwick

Rail services through East Croydon railway station have been halted due a “security alert”.

Southern Rail1 confirmed all lines were shut at around 7pm on Monday (October 2), including lines to and from Gatwick Airport2. Passengers are advised to avoid the station and travel via alternative routes where possible.

It comes after rail services through Wimbledon railway station were severely disrupted earlier when a passenger “recited Bible verses” and proclaimed “doomsday”3, resulting in a number of passengers fleeing the train.

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South Western Railway Wimbledon Incident

Said Southern in a statement: “Due to a security alert at a station between Gatwick Airport and East Croydon, all lines are closed.

“Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 30 mins . Disruption is expected until 8.30pm.

The station was evacuated on Monday evening

“Passengers are advised East Croydon station is currently closed while emergency services deal with an incident at this station .

As a result of this, the station has been evacuated.

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“Southern and Thameslink services are currently unable to stop at this station whilst the British Transport Police conduct their investigation.

“Passengers are also advised that services are subject to delays via all London terminals which Serve Southern and Thameslink due to this incident.

“We advise that passengers refrain from travelling via East Croydon further notice.”

Keep up to date with the latest news from around the county via the free Get Surrey app.

You can set up your app to see all the latest news and events from your area, plus receive push notifications for breaking news.

Available to download from the App Store4 or Google Play for Android5.

References

  1. ^ Southern Rail (www.getsurrey.co.uk)
  2. ^ Gatwick Airport (www.getsurrey.co.uk)
  3. ^ a passenger “recited Bible verses” and proclaimed “doomsday” (www.getsurrey.co.uk)
  4. ^ App Store (itunes.apple.com)
  5. ^ Google Play for Android (play.google.com)

Equifax mega-breach: Security bod flags header config conflict

Further evidence has emerged regarding the insecurity of Equifax s web setup, as independent security researcher Scott Helme reports having uncovered all manner of problems with Equifax s security header configuration1. The finding from Helme comes as a date was confirmed for the Equifax CEO to appear before Congress earlier next month, and the FTC said it was investigating the credit reference agency.

Equifax Mega-breach: Security Bod Flags Header Config Conflict

Equifax s security header configuration

Many of the headers are more about addressing the basics, but as a site that serves over HTTPS they should really have features like HSTS and CSP enabled to offer their visitors a higher level of protection, Helme told El Reg.

The current misconfiguration that is present on the site with duplicated headers and conflicting values just raises questions about why the basics aren t being done properly. Earlier this week, Equifax admitted2 that hackers exploited an Apache Struts vulnerability (CVE-2017-5638) to break into its systems . The flaw had been patchable since March 7 but Equifax had failed to patch promptly . The intrusion but was only detected more than two months later.

The breach3 which began in mid-May, was discovered in late July, but was disclosed only last week affected 143 million US consumers and an as-yet undisclosed number of Brits and Canadians.

Criminals gained access to names, social security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers of millions of Americans as well as the credit card numbers of 209,000 US consumers . The whole sorry mess raises a number of important questions. Three top Equifax executives, including its chief financial officer, sold a combined $1.8m worth of stock in the consumer credit reporting agency after the breach was detected but before it was made public .

Equifax said4 that the executives had had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at the time they sold their shares. US data privacy watchdogs at the Federal Trade Commission have taken the unusual step of confirming5 they had launched an investigation into the Equifax breach. Equifax chief exec Richard Smith has been called6 to testify before congressional lawmakers at the beginning of October .

Smith is due to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on October 3.

Bootnote

Another security researcher reported7 that he d begun receiving spam emails at a single-use email address he d used uniquely to register with Equifax years earlier, but we ve not seen widespread evidence that data has escaped into the wild yet.

If you have any info you d like to share, drop us a line