A gang behind what has been branded one of the biggest robberies in British criminal history have been jailed for more than 23 years this week.

The gang of men, who have links to south Bucks, were behind a £7 million Heathrow Airport heist in March this year.

Loomis employees Mohammad Siddique and Ranjeev Singh used their van to steal cash belonging to Credit Suisse from inside a British Airways cargo depot at the airport.

Another man, Rafaqat Hussain, who was "at the heart of the conspiracy", later boasted of how he would spend the money, Kingston Crown Court heard.

The robbery was described in court as being worthy of a Hollywood script.

The plot was organised by Hussain, 41, who was in constant communication with Siddique and helped squirrel away the money, which has never been recovered.

Siddique and Singh had picked up 26 bags of cash at the British Airways Cargo depot at Heathrow Airport on March 14 and were due to transfer it to the Bank of Ireland.

But shortly afterwards Singh smoked “nonchalantly” after getting out the van for a bathroom break and returned to find the vehicle gone, but waited 20 minutes to raise the alarm.

Meanwhile, driver Siddique was helping to shift the cash into a waiting van before being tied up and dumped in a remote area nearby.

After the heist, Hussain and his wife Razvana Zeib, 35, hoped to use their cut of the money to buy a house belonging to an 88-year-old lady.

However to bring the price down they planned to vandalise the property, with the help of Garry Carrod, of Taplow.

Carrod, 34, was jailed for three-and-a-half years having previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to burgle.

Secret recordings made by a device planted by police in Hussain's car caught him admitting “I had all the cash, £7 million" and also heard him boast that he could buy any car he wanted with the stolen cash.

He said: “Mate it was a job, I f****** robbed £7 million.

“I want to lie low, I could buy a Ferrari, I want to chill for about six months, buy a couple of houses, flip them and make a bit of money.”

In opening the trial last month, prosecutor Sandip Patel QC told at Kingston Crown Court: “It was an audacious theft carefully planned and executed and you may think it would make a Hollywood movie script – they would call it the 'Heathrow Heist' if anyone wanted to write a script about it.”

Siddique and Singh, both of Slough, were jailed for six-and-a-half years each after being found guilty of one count of conspiracy to steal.

Hussain, also of Slough, was jailed for ten years and three months after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to steal, one count of conspiracy to money launder and one count of conspiracy to burgle, and wife Zeib, also of Slough, will be sentenced at a later date having pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money and one count of conspiracy to burgle.

Sentencing, Judge Stephen John said: “I must pass sentence on each of you for your part in, or offences connected with, an audacious conspiracy to steal cash-in-transit

“The sum involved was one of the largest of recent years, £7million was stolen and none has been recovered.

“This was a sophisticated operation which involved meticulous planning and execution. You each played for high stakes and must now pay the price.

Speaking to Hussain, he said: “You were involved with your wife, in a conspiracy to launder the proceeds and also to burgle the house of an 88-year-old lady.

“You and your wife intended to use part of the proceeds to buy her home, but in a breathtaking example of further greed you and she decided you would arrange to have the house vandalised, the windows broken and plumbing destroyed, to force the vendor to reduce the price.

“As this elderly lady, selling to fund a place in a care home, had failed to notify her non-occupancy at the time of the burglary, her insurance avoided the policy so she had no redress.

“She is another victim of your criminality.”

The court heard Hussain had 64 previous offences including a jail sentence of four years for robbery in 2002.