The gang behind the theft of an ATM in Carnoustie, as well as others across Britain, have received lengthy sentences.
The court heard that the six men used “dedicated, ruthless and sophisticated methods to steal vast quantities of money from banks across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom”.
Andrew White, Michael Galea, Nanu Miah, Anthony White and Gary Carey were convicted earlier this month after a four month long trial. Carl Cavanagh and Anthony Conroy pleaded guilty before the trial.
The sentencing today (April 20) 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.
“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 sentences 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.
Andrew White received a 21 year sentence, Carl Cavanagh 11 years, Anthony Conroy 12 years, Michael Galea 15 years, Anthony White 16 years, Gary Carey 10 years, and Nanu Miah received a life sentence with a minimum of nine years.
Police Scotland Detective Superintendent Alex Dowall said: “Today’s sentences emphasises the seriousness of crimes of this type and recognises the impact serious and organised crime has on our communities.
“The communities that were targeted by this group are safe places to live and not exposed to crimes of such a serious, dangerous and crude nature. The impact they had on the people who live within them cannot be underestimated and I would like to take this opportunity to thank members of the public and the communities of the North East for their assistance, support and patience throughout.”