Three Charged Over Bomb Hoax

Police investigating a bomb hoax and attempted robbery at a bank have charged three men.

Large parts of Watford town centre had to be closed off on the morning of Thursday 2 June 2011 because a man in the Co-operative Bank on Market Street was claiming to have a bomb.

The closures caused disruption for hundreds of shoppers.  The device was later found to not to be explosive.

The Crown Prosecution Service say the three men are all aged 23 and from Luton.  They've been charged with conspiracy to steal, as well as theft and conspiracy to commit a bomb hoax.

In its joint statement announcing the charges, the CPS and Hertfordshire Police said: "Co-operative Bank worker Muhammed Qasim Salam, 23, from Bracknell Close, 23-year-old Imran Khalifa, who is unemployed and from Maiden Hall Road, and 23-year-old Faizan Rehman, from Havelock Road are all charged with conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to commit a bomb hoax and theft.''

Adrian Roberts, head of the CPS Thames and Chilterns Complex Casework Unit said: "I have been working closely with Hertfordshire Constabulary and I have now authorised them to charge Muhammed Qasim Salam, Imran Khalifa and Faizan Rehman with conspiracy to steal, theft and conspiracy to conspiracy to commit a bomb hoax.''

The bomb hoax led to a three and a half hour stand off involving armed police.  Traffic was brought to a standstill and roads were heavily congested.

All three men were due to appear in court in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, on Monday 6 June 2011.

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