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A man who robbed a security van of more than a million pounds, has had his fire service pension seixed by police.
The courts have today, Friday 20 September, granted the seizure of £129,929.28 following Asset Recovery proceedings under the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
On 5 March 2013, Edward Maher, aged 58 years from South Woodham Ferrers, near Chelmsford pleaded guilty to being involved in the theft of over £1million from a Securicor van in January 1993.
Suffolk Police were called to Lloyds Bank, in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe at 9.30am on 22 January 1993 following a report that a Securicor van driver who had made a delivery to the bank had driven off with the van and money inside.
The van was later found abandoned in Micklegate Road in Felixstowe. £1,172,500 had been stolen from inside.
Extensive enquiries were carried out into the whereabouts of the driver, Edward Maher, who was then aged 37 years.
In February 2012, Maher was arrested by the US Authorities in Missouri, USA for illegally possessing firearms. During their enquiries and interview with Maher the US Authorities established that there were some immigration issues, which resulted in them contacting UK Authorities when it was subsequently established he was wanted in the UK and Suffolk Police were contacted.
On 9 July 2012, Edward Maher was escorted back from the US to the UK.
Following his guilty plea in March 2013 where Maher was sentenced to five years imprisonment, officers from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Economic Crime Unitstarted proceedings under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 to pursue any money or assets Edward Maher had or was entitled to.
Prior to leaving the UK in 1993 Edward Maher was receiving a monthly pension from the London Fire Service where he had worked when he was younger.
After being posted as wanted these payments were stopped and had been accruing over the past 20 years, to approximately £130,000.
Using legislation under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (the Act which preceded the Proceeds Of Crime Act) officers were able to pursue these monies.
Detective Inspector David Giles: “Today’s hearing sends out a strong message that no matter how much time has passed since an offence was committed we will use whatever powers are available to us, to pursue any money or assets that have been accrued by an individual.
“In this case Edward Maher had evaded the law for 20 years. Although when arrested he had no assets or money, what he did have was a pension which had been accruing over the previous 20 years. After seeking advice it became apparent that we would be able to pursue these monies under the Criminal Justice Act.
“It is pleasing to hear the result at court today and to know that some of the money, albeit only a small proportion has been confiscated from Maher.”
The confiscated money will have to be paid back in the next six months. £50,000 will be paid to G4S (formerly Securicor) and the remainder will be paid back to insurers.