THE deputy manager of a cash and carry store in Northampton was the inside man as armed robbers made off with nearly £20,000 in cash and almost £400,000 of cigarettes, it was alleged in court yesterday.
Mabs Zar, aged 42, of Gillett Avenue in London, sat in the dock at Northampton Crown Court as a jury was told he and four other co-defendants allegedly conspired to rob Bestway Cash and Carry on the Lodge Farm industrial estate between December 27, 2009, and January 7 last year.
Zar was joined by another store employee Ravi Kumar, aged 32, of The Croft, Dallington, Northampton, and three other men: Alaimagan Thangarajam, aged 34, of Perran Avenue, Milton Keynes; Balasingham Kathir, aged 38, of Truby Gardens, Milton Keynes; and Thalayasingham Krishnakumar, aged 27, of Teasel Avenue, Milton Keynes.
All five deny the charge.
Opening the case yesterday David Lee, prosecuting, directed the jury to two incidents at Bestway during the time period in question.
On December 28, he said, an incident took place in which Zar claimed to have been kidnapped by two men and forced to drive to the store, where he and the store’s security guard were threatened with a gun, before an alarm sounded and the men fled without taking anything. Three men later arrested in connection with the crime were Thangarajam, Kathir and Krishnakumar.
Some days later, on January 6, Mr Lee said, another robbery took place, where masked men with guns and Tasers entered the premises, tied up staff and stole cash, cigarettes and the store’s CCTV system.
Addressing the jury he said: “What the Crown is saying in this case is that December 28 was an event which was faked. The kidnapping was not genuine.
“We are saying that was not something that was people coming from outside completely unexpected. It had all been arranged.
“And we are saying on January 6 this very serious robbery took place with the connivance of Zar and Kumar.”
The case continues.