Eight men were jailed on Friday for plotting to carry out what would have been one of Britain’s biggest ever heists at Heathrow Airport last year, Reuters reports.
The men planned to steal nearly $60 million worth of cash, diamonds, and gold bullion from a Swissport storage depot at the airport in May 2004.
The gang, armed with hockey sticks, an axe, a claw hammer and knives, rammed a white Transit van through the metal shutters of the warehouse on the airport’s perimeter.
But once inside they were captured by more than 100 armed officers who had been lying in wait.
Six were held at the scene while a seventh hijacked a 17.5-ton lorry, drove off from the airport and caused a number of accidents before crashing into a wall.
He was later arrested by police after being holed up in an apartment block.
Seven of the men admitted conspiracy to rob Swissport while an eighth was convicted of the same offense at a trial earlier this year.
They were sentenced to a total of 67 years in jail on Friday at Kingston Crown Court, Reuters reports.
Britain’s biggest successful robbery was a 1987 break-in at a safe deposit centre in London when 60 million pounds was stolen. In 1983, 26 million pounds was taken in a raid on a Brinks-Mat vault at Heathrow.