An organised criminal gang responsible for armed robberies in east London have been jailed for over 90 years, today, 18 July, at the Old Bailey.
[A] Michael Carbon, 26, (20/05/1987) of Queens Terrace, E13 has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to robbery and being found guilty of burglary and possession of a firearm.
[B] David Sadiku, 41, (05/06/1972) of Copeland Road, E17 has been sentenced to 13 years imprisonment after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to 1 x aggravated burglary; 2 x robbery; and 3 x possession of a prohibited firearm
[C] StPaulius rasunskas, 27, (01/12/1985) of Marston Road, Ilford has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment after he convicted of aggravated burglary, 2 x robbery, burglary, 3 x possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm and possession of a prohibited weapon.
[D] Francis Carbon, 32,(10/12/1981) of Mersea House, Crows Road, Barking was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment after he was convicted of aggravated burglary, 2 x robbery, burglary, 3 x possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm and possession of a prohibited weapon.
[E] Aamir Kayani, 31, (24/01/1981) of Elgin House, Whalebone Lane North, Romford was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment after he was convicted of aggravated burglary, 2 x robbery, burglary, 3 x possession of a firearm, carrying a firearm and possession of a prohibited weapon.
[F] Amarjeet Bharj, 48, (26/06/1966) of Front Lane, Upminster was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment after he was convicted of 2 x robbery, burglary, carrying a firearm, possession of a firearm and possession of a prohibited weapon.
[G] Kelly Day, 36, (13/10/1977) Northbrook Road, Ilford was sentenced to six years imprisonment after pleading guilty to robbery and possession of a prohibited firearm.
A-E were convicted at the same court on 27 June, following a nine-week trial, for the offences which took place in Ilford and south-east London during the summer of 2013.
On 8 August 2013, following a proactive operation, codenamed Op Exbar, officers from the Flying Squad, supported by armed units, foiled an armed robbery at Milap mini-supermarket in High Road, Chadwell Heath.
Michael Carbon and Strasunkas, armed with a handgun, entered the store and threatened a male member of staff.
They then stole cash and other items of property. As they returned to their getaway vehicle officers from the Flying Squad and armed units arrested them.
Francis Carbon and Strasunskas were arrested nearby in control of two getaway vehicles, and Kayani by the Direct Golf driving range, Whalebone Lane North, having fled the scene. He acted as lookout from his Audi which was parked in a public house car park opposite the venue.
The gang used walkie-talkies to co-ordinate their attack.
The firearm and a quantity of cash were recovered from them, and a male member of staff required hospital treatment for minor injuries.
A sixth man, Amarjeet Bharj, 48 yrs, was arrested several days later when enquiries established he was facilitating the offence by sourcing vehicles and insurance so as to assist the group, as well as being ‘on-the-ground’ on the day of the robbery.
Reactive enquiries then linked members of this criminal gang to three other offences:
On 26 June an aggravated burglary took place in Norfolk Road, Ilford whereby the suspects forced their way into a residential address armed with a firearm and a stun-gun disguised as a Mag-Lite torch. They were prevented from stealing anything after being forced back by residents of the address.
On 5 July an armed robbery took place at Maxcroft Securities, a pawnbroker and money transfer centre in Eastern Avenue, Ilford. Sadiku and 36-year-old [G] Kelly Day entered the store, and Sadiku approached the counter carrying a green box featuring the word ‘ROLEX’. Staff assumed he was there to pawn a watch, but he then pulled a semi-automatic pistol from his rear waistband. Day held the doors open for Strasunskas and Francis Carbon to enter the premises.
Staff and customers were attacked and threatened with the gun and demands were made. The manager was pistol-whipped about the face; and Strasunskas stunned both him and a female member of staff several times with the stun gun.
The suspects ransacked the premises, stealing expensive jewellery, high value watches, and Â£60,000 in cash. They then made off from the scene via a waiting vehicle.
On 6 August 2013 Francis and Michael Carbon, Sadiku, and Strasunskas were responsible for the residential burglaries of three flats within a block in Macoma Road SE13.
All of them will be sentenced on 18 July.
Detective Chief Inspector Steve Ellen of the North-East Branch Flying Squad office said:
“The gang spent considerable time organising their attacks and always put in place a plan to make good their escape.
“The excellent work by Flying Squad officers, together with support from armed units, has led to the removal of a dangerous gang, who specifically came together for the purpose of causing fear and disruption to the business community in east London and Essex.
“We will continue to target those we suspect of being involved in carrying out gun-enabled crime to the detriment of the business community in London.”