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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » The World’s Greatest Bank Robbery Foiled By Some Meddling Kids

The World’s Greatest Bank Robbery Foiled By Some Meddling Kids

Bogus peer Hugh Rodley tried to pull off world’s biggest bank raid

A fake British aristocrat was convicted yesterday of playing a leading role in an audacious attempt to carry out the world’s biggest bank raid.

The gang of international criminals came close to stealing £229 million from a City bank by exploiting the high-tech security measures designed to protect money transfers. But the plot failed when a hacker into the system missed one set of numbers from an electronic form.

Hugh Rodley — who insisted on being addressed as “Lord” despite having bought his manorial title — was the front man for the group, setting up companies and bank accounts to receive and launder the money.

Details of the “bold and sophisticated” attack were untangled by the Serious Organised Crime Agency during a four-year investigation.

Serious Organized Crime Agency? Ha! They got nothin’ on the Bicycle Adventure Team! Furthermore, this is pretty much Hollywood-Brought-To-Real-Life Awesomeness.

After months of preparation, the Belgian hackers returned to Sumitomo’s offices in October 2004. They made 21 transfers of up to £40 million each from the accounts of high-profile customers including Casio, Toshiba and Nomura Asset Management. The money was destined for accounts in Spain, Dubai, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Israel, Turkey and Singapore.

Rodley then attempted to transfer the stolen money out of the recipient accounts and on to banks in countries including northern Cyprus and the Seychelles, unaware that the Belgians had made a mistake in the Swift money transfer system.

Rodley was convicted yesterday at Snaresbrook Crown Court of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to transfer criminal property. Nash was convicted of conspiracy to transfer criminal property. Another defendant, Inger Malmros, 58, a Swedish businesswoman who lived in the Canary Islands, was cleared of all charges.

O’Donoghue, 33, Van Osselaer, 32, and Poelvoorde, 34, had already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal. All will be sentenced at a later date.

Other members of the plot have not been caught and are known to have carried out similar attacks abroad. Among those who are suspected of being involved are the Eastern European mafia and a Middle Eastern sheikh.

A fake British aristocrat, Belgian hackers, Eastern European mafia and a Sheikh. Plus others. How does one even convince groups like this to get involved? This could have been fucking amazing. Damn them for stopping this from happening!

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