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Last Updated: Monday January 28 2008 16:05 GMT

Five guilty of biggest cash raid

The convicted robbers L-R: Roger Coutts, Lea Rusha, Jetmir Bucpapa, Ermir Hysenaj, Stuart Royle

Five men have been found guilty of trying to steal 53m in Britain's biggest ever cash robbery.

The men were involved in a raid at a security depot in Kent, in which the manager, his wife and their young child were kidnapped at gunpoint in 2006.

The family and 14 members of staff were locked in storage cages by the gang while they grabbed as much cash as they could before making their getaway.

The five men will find out on Tuesday what their punishment will be.

They are: Stuart Royle, 49, of Maidstone, Kent; Jetmir Bucpapa, 26, of Tonbridge, Kent; Roger Coutts, 30, of Welling, south-east London; Lea Rusha, 35, of Southborough, Kent; and Emir Hysenaj, 28, of Crowborough, East Sussex.

The outside of the depot, pic taken Jan 2008
The depot holds and distributes money for the Bank of England
Two other men were cleared of all charges by the jury, after a seven-month trial.

Police think more people may have been involved in the raid, who are now living abroad.

The gang all wore special masks, which are usually used by actors, to disguise themselves.

But charges against the woman who made the masks were dropped after she agreed to give evidence against the men.

Threatened

The raid took place overnight on 21 February 2006.

The manager, Mr Dixon, was on his way home from work when he was stopped by two people who he thought were police officers.

They threatened to hurt him, told him to get into their car and then drove him to a house in the countryside where he discovered his wife and child had also been taken.

Some of the cash recovered after the raid
About 21m of the stolen cash has been recovered by police
Later, they were driven to the depot and the manager was told to hand over the keys to the safes where up to 200m was being kept for the Bank of England.

The robbers didn't waste any time, locking the family and staff into the money cages while they stuffed as much cash as they could into the back of a lorry.

They had to leave about 153m behind because they couldn't fit it into the truck.

Recovered cash

The robbers thought they'd got away with it and started to split the cash between them.

But officers soon caught up with them during what's been Kent's biggest ever police operation.

They've also since recovered about 21m of the stolen cash across Kent and the south east of England.



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