Prolific robbers locked up

THREE students became one of the country s most prolific robbery gangs when they pulled off 23 security van heists in a year netting more than �300,000. Nana Wallace, 20, and Martin Danquah, 19, were jailed for seven years, while gang leader Richard Agyem

THREE students became one of the country's most prolific robbery gangs when they pulled off 23 security van heists in a year netting more than �300,000.

Nana Wallace, 20, and Martin Danquah, 19, were jailed for seven years, while gang leader Richard Agyemang, 21, got seven years and nine months.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard they and a fourth member, Muanza Da Silva, 21, targeted cash deliveries at post offices, supermarkets, garages and railway stations.

Several of their heists took place in Barking with robberies at the Shell petrol station in London Road in August 2008 and the Esso Petrol Station in Ripple Road in October 2008.


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The gang attempted to rob a security van at Tesco Extra in Ripple Road in February last year and twice stole cash boxes outside Barking Station - once in December 2008 and in June 2009.

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They also stole a cash box at Woolworth's, East Street, in August 2008 and tried to steal another outside Sainsbury's in High Road, Chadwell Heath, last February.

The gang did not use weapons, but rushed the guards of Loomis and G4S vans.

A covert operation by the Flying Squad led to the arrests of Da Silva on December 1, 2008, and Danquah on March 12 last year.

Police arrested Agyemang and Wallace on July 7 last year.

Prosecutor Sally Fudge told the court mobile phone footage showed Danquah and Wallace performing a semi-naked jig, while brandishing their dye-stained loot.

"From the phone that was taken from Danquah there was a short video clip on that phone.

"It shows Mr Danquah and Mr Wallace - both stripped to the waist - dancing to music, while showing vast sums of cash to the camera."

Hugh Mullan, mitigating, said the trio were in education with Agyemang studying electronics at London Metropolitan University.

"They were young men at university together or they knew each other in their youth with no history of criminality."

Judge Kennedy ordered destruction of the defendants' mobile phones seized by police.

The court heard police confiscated just under �4,000 from the gang when they were arrested, but the rest of the cash is still unaccounted for.

Judge Kennedy awarded the forfeited money, which the crooks had bleached in an attempt to clean off security dye, to the North East London Flying Squad who brought the robbers to justice.

Agyemang, of Notting Hill, Wallace, of Ilford, and Danquah, of North Woolwich, admitted conspiracy to rob between August 2008 and July 2009.

Da Silva, 21, of Ilford, a former West Ham United youth coach, admitted the same charge and was jailed for seven-and-a-half years last month.

Charges were dropped against Phillip Frimpong, 22, of Custom House.

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