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A CROOKED ex-policeman who became the “inside man” for a robbery gang was convicted of plotting one of Europe’s biggest ever cash raids.
Armoured car driver Graham Huckerby, 41, took a £2,500 bribe to let masked gunmen hijack his bullet and bomb-proof Securicor vehicle, kidnap him and steal £6.6m.
He was among 12 people arrested in August 1999 after a four year police investigation and numerous court hearings which cost an estimated £10m.
During the massive inquiry, which took detectives to Poland, Spain and Israel, an undercover policeman spent 10 months posing as a disgruntled security van driver to infiltrate the robbery gang.
During the raid itself, the gunmen left Huckerby gagged with tape and handcuffed to railings before snatching £4m in cash and £2m in cheques.
Huckerby later spun a web of deceit telling police he had been “terrified” at being kidnapped and held against his will.
But after the raid in July 1995, at the Midland Bank Clearing Centre in Salford, Huckerby – who had been financially stretched – suddenly enjoyed a change of fortunes and paid off debts and maintenance arrears. He began to enjoy a jet-set lifestyle, took a three-week trip to America and made a series of bank deposits.
Police, who suspected Huckerby’s account was false, were tipped off that the raid was organised by London’s East End gangs who in turn recruited Greater Manchester hoodlums to join in.
Despite the arrests, the haul has never been recovered. Police fear the loot may have been too hot to launder in bank accounts in large amounts and could have been buried at secret locations for collection in years to come.
At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Huckerby, of Clifton Road, Prestwich, fell to his knees and shouted “What have you done to me?” as he was convicted by a unanimous verdict of conspiracy to rob after a two-month retrial. James Power, 58, of Hornby Street, Bury, an accomplice described as Huckerby’s “handler” – was also convicted of conspiracy and got 14 years. On appeal Huckerby’s sentence was quashed on account of his ‘post-traumatic stress.’
The court heard the robbers used a white Ford Transit as a “cash transporter” after it was stolen earlier in London and given false registration plates.
As Huckerby and his colleague arrived at the Salford banking centre on the Monday to deposit weekend takings from Manchester stores, two masked men used ladders to scale a wall next to a railway line and dropped into the centre’s yard.
They sprinted to the van after Huckerby’s colleague had gone inside the building to check in the delivery and got into his van.
Huckerby failed to raise any alarm and instead drove off to a cul-de-sac followed by the gang’s stolen white transit van. There he was bound and gagged. In all, 29 pillow case-sized cash bags were transferred to the Transit, which was driven to another rendezvous before the gang transferred the cash to another vehicle and scattering in a fleet of cars.
They left £1m behind in the Securicor van. The raid was caught on video and a reward of £250,000 was offered by Securicor and Greater Manchester Police for the capture of the gang.
Investigations revealed Huckerby had accepted the £2,500 bribe to be in on the July 1995 raid.
Police then engaged an undercover policeman known only as Barry to go to pubs and bookmakers in the area where Huckerby lived and play the part of a Securicor driver with a grudge against the company.
The operation was designed to see if one of Huckerby’s pals would plan a similar robbery with a Securicor driver as an “inside man” and Power, took the bait in taped conversations boasting about the previous one.

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