Felixstowe: Police hunting £1.2m heist accomplices
- Credit: Archive
DETECTIVES who investigated Eddie Maher’s 1993 theft of a security van containing £1.2million are still searching for possible accomplices.
As Maher, 57, formerly of South Woodham Ferrers, Essex, was jailed for five years after admitting the theft at Southwark Crown Court, prosecutors said police inquiries were continuing.
Prosecutor Richard Southern said: “We believe the defendant received assistance from people in this country in the months after the offence.”
Maher’s partner Deborah Brett, 47, his sister, Margaret Francis, 64, Paul Muggleton, 54, from Woodford Green, east London, are all on bail after being arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender and conspiracy to commit theft.
Mr Southern said that it seemed likely Maher had travelled to the US using his brother, Michael’s, passport.
“Michael Maher has now gone off to Spain, as far as we know,” Mr Southern added.
The court heard that Michael Maher’s passport was used to go through border control on February 22 when a person purporting to be him travelled with another man, Terrence Bender.
- 1 Snow possible overnight as 50mph gusts set to arrive in Suffolk
- 2 Man caught massaging woman's leg by husband viewing home CCTV
- 3 Evicted Suffolk family of dying child given early Christmas presents
- 4 Suffolk beauty spots ranked among best in UK
- 5 Is this the cheapest house for sale in Suffolk?
- 6 Automatics out-of-reach and making the play-offs a real battle? The size of the task now facing Ipswich
- 7 'You can't kid supporters... we have to give them a lift' - Cook previews Crewe clash
- 8 Willow Tree Farm Shop & Cafe: 'A lovely blend of upmarket and informal'
- 9 No timescale for when Suffolk road closed due to flooding can reopen
- 10 Action taken to target second home owners exploiting tax loophole
“There was a physical resemblance between the defendant and Michael Maher and we say he would have been able to use his brother’s passport,” Mr Southern said.
The court heard that forensic evidence showed an acquaintance of Maher’s had contact with the getaway vehicle around the time it was stolen in November 1992.
Detectives also found phone calls between this man and Michael Maher in the run-up to the theft and the days after it.
At one point the suspect had a “lengthy” conversation with the passport office and also had direct contact with Maher.
He visited the US in March 1993, returning that May.
Mr Southern said that this trip coincided with the issue of Maher’s false documents which were used to support his new identity.
Another acquaintance, Michael Sulsh, also made trips to the States around that time, Mr Southern said.
“Sulsh and Bender have not been arrested and inquiries continue,” he added.