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Six men who carried out a string of violent daylight robberies on money couriers in Earls Court, Knightsbridge and Westminster are to be sentenced on Thursday (October 8).

Armed with knives and noxious gas which they used on their victims, according to police, the gang stalked nine couriers carrying cash for bureau de change shops, before assaulting them on the street, on buses and in Tube stations.

The men have all previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery at Kingston Crown Court, police said. They are:

  • Daniel Santiago, 23, Southampton Way, Southwark
  • Daniel Riveira, 33, Fender Court, Paradise Road, Lambeth
  • Mario Jiminez, 25, Lucyashe House, Winchester Close, Southwark
  • Kevin Gomez, 23, Wicksteed House, County Street, Southwark
  • Juan Estrada Blandon, 32, Dearmer House, Tulse Hill, Lambeth
  • Nehmia Haile-Ghilazghi, 23, Friar Mews, West Norwood, Lambeth

The robberies took place at Earls Court, Kings Cross and Knightsbridge stations, on buses near Hyde Park Corner and Park Lane, and on streets across Westminster, between July and November 2014, police added.

Detective Sergeant Tony Skinner, of the Met Police’s Flying Squad, said the gang would watch the cash couriers leave the shops and follow them before launching their attacks.

He said: “They are an incredibly violent gang who thought nothing of attacking their victims in crowded places. On a number of occasions, they stabbed their victims and sprayed a noxious substance into their eyes. They even turned a knife on a member of public who chased them.”

Seven of their robberies were successful, netting the gang £120,000, but they failed to get any money from the other two, police added.

The Flying Squad began investigating after identifying a trend in the attacks. On November 25 last year, they arrested Santiago, Riveira and Jiminez after observing them follow a man to Bayswater. The victim went inside a building and the gang got on a bus to Victoria in the hope, detectives believe, of locating a new victim. Detectives arrested the men as they got off the bus.

The Flying Squad subsequently identified and arrested Gomez, Blandon and Haile-Ghilazghi.

The gang first struck on July 25 last year, police said, at Kings Cross Station, where they punched the guard to the floor and stole his bag. A member of the public who gave chase was threatened with a knife.

The third robbery took place on September 10 at 10.30am on a moving bus, after the victim boarded the No 73 at Marble Arch. He was grabbed around the neck and threatened before the gang forced open the bus doors while it was moving and ran off.

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Eight days later, the gang attacked another victim as he left Earls Court station at 12.30pm. They stole his laptop bag, wrongly believing it was where he had stored the money, and stabbed the victim in the arm. He has since recovered.

Other attacks included one at Knightsbridge Station on October 24. The victim was kicked down the stairs of the station, punched and further kicked before having a noxious gas launched in his eyes. They stole his bag.

On November 10, they slashed a victim in the thigh during an unsuccessful robbery attempt in Eaton Lane, and five days later carried out their final attack on the 36 bus near Hyde Park Corner, at around 11.20am - again spraying a substance in the victim’s face.

Sentencing updates on getwestlondon when we get it.