Four of the men accused of carrying out a £1.75m armed raid at Heathrow worked at the airport, a court has heard.
Police had been aware that a robbery was planned
Guns were pointed at 16 staff who were then bound and some subjected to violence in the raid on one of the airport's warehouses in February 2004.
The Old Bailey heard on Friday that those behind the raid had expected to escape with £10m.
Six men have denied conspiring to rob and steal from Menzies World Cargo between June and November last year.
The court heard the money stolen had arrived at Heathrow that day from Austria and was part of a "substantial consignment of sterling and foreign currency collected from Vienna".
Simon Russell-Flint, prosecuting, said: "This was not a lucky chance find or pure fluke.
"They (the robbers) were there because they had detailed and clear information from within and a considerable amount of help and assistance from other people who worked at Heathrow."
He said police arrested those they believed responsible the next day.
"The robbery was a success despite it making nothing like that expected," he added.
"However what the robbers did not know was that for some time, since July 2003, police had been aware that a robbery had been planned to take place at the premises."
The accused are Brian Wake, 58, of Chertsey, Surrey; David Redmond, 43, of Iver Heath, Bucks; Roy Davis, 37, of Harlesden, north west London; Lloyd Govus, 36, and Richard Betts, 39, both of Iver, Bucks; and Adam Joyce, 38, of Reading, Berks.
The prosecution alleges that Mr Betts, Mr Joyce, Mr Davis and Mr Wake all worked at Heathrow.