Seven men have been convicted today (April 5) of blowing up cash machines across Britain - including one in Carnoustie in February 2016 - and stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Five men were detained outside the McDonald’s in Westway Retail Park in Arbroath on February 12, 2016, following the incident in Carnoustie. As part of the operation to detain the five, Police Scotland officers discharged vehicle tyre deflation rounds directly into vehicle tyres.
Andrew White and Anthony White both of St Helens, Michael Galea, of Prescot, Birmingham-based Nanu Miah and Gary Carey of Huyton were convicted following a four month long trial.
Carl Cavanagh and Anthony Conroy pleaded guilty before the trial.
The men were part of a organised crime gang described in court as using “dedicated, ruthless and sophisticated methods to steal vast quantities of money from banks across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom”.
The conviction brings to a successful conclusion many months of work by TITAN (the North West Regional Crime Unit), Police Scotland and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Senior Crown prosecutor Maria Corr, of Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Casework Unit, has worked on the case since the beginning.
She said: “These men were ruthless, organised criminals who conspired to cause explosions and burgle banks up and down the country.
“They thought nothing of using powerful explosives to blow up cash machines in residential areas, putting nearby residents in real danger. In fact, they targeted cash machines in quieter areas, because they thought it’d be less likely that they’d be detected.
“They stole high performance fast cars to order to use as getaway cars and drove from the scene of their crimes at terrifying speeds, again at great risk to the public, to avoid arrest.
“They used cloned number plates to avoid detection, one stolen car was found hidden in the back of a lorry and transported to commit a crime in Scotland , again to avoid detection.
“They wore black and covered their faces with ski masks and balaclavas so they couldn’t be identified from CCTV at the scene of the crimes.
“They used a huge number of mobile phones before, during and after the attacks, again to avoid detection.
“They were eventually tracked down by painstaking investigation involving detailed scrutiny of CCTV, DNA from items found in the abandoned getaway cars and interrogation of their mobile phones and satellite navigation tools, again found in the cars.
“These men, like most criminals, think they’re too clever to be caught. They’re wrong as today’s result proves.
“They think they’ve thought of everything, but they haven’t. Criminals always eventually make mistakes and the Police and the Crown Prosecution service will catch up with them.
“Today’s convictions are a great result for the Crown Prosecution Service and for the forces of law and order in general.”
An eighth man, Scott Pearson was found Not Guilty of conspiracy to burgle.