August 30 2014 Latest news:
by Rory Brigstock-Barron
Thursday, May 8, 2014
A postman involved in one of the biggest ever thefts from the Royal Mail wept as he was jailed on Friday.
Father-of-three Ajaz Budi, 33, took hundreds of parcels from Mount Pleasant sorting office in Clerkenwell – containing cheques worth more than £2.3million – over three years.
He and his accomplices paid the cheques into accounts they had set up, often using an insider in the banks.
But Budi, of Sanderstead Road, Leyton, was caught out when a Royal Mail fraud investigation team set up cameras which recorded him taking mail which had nothing to do with his route.
Jailing him for eight- and-a-half years at the Old Bailey, Judge John Bevan said the theft from the Farringdon Road office was on a “massive scale”.
Judge Bevan said: “This appears to be one of the largest scales of theft of mail by a postman that Royal Mail are aware of. It’s certainly one of the most sophisticated.”
The postman was earning £375 a week but at his home and his girlfriend’s flat police found a total of almost £39,000.
He also had been able to afford to buy a property for investment and keep a wife, two children and a girlfriend who also had a child. A fourth child is due later this year.
Police also found hundreds of letters, cheque stubs and credit card details Budi had taken from the post and stolen mail was found in his car and post office van.
Not all the cheques were successfully cashed, but the crooks escaped with £807,556 from one firm alone.
Budi was convicted of eight charges including theft, possession of articles for use in fraud and possession of criminal property.