In the Media

Eddie Maher: suspect in ?1m robbery to be deported to UK

PUBLISHED May 11, 2012

A British man suspected of an armoured van robbery in Suffolk who was arrested in the US after nearly two decades on the run has agreed to be sent back to the UK to face charges, US federal officials have said.

A magistrate approved Edward Maher's transfer to US immigration officials for deportation at the federal court in Springfield, Missouri, on Friday, according to Don Ledford, a spokesman for the US attorney's office in Kansas City.

Police in Suffolk said the 56-year-old faces charges of conspiracy to rob, but that arrangements have yet to be made for his deportation.

A US immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) spokeswoman confirmed that Maher had been turned over to ICE custody on Friday and that his removal from the US was still pending. Montenegro said the agency could not comment on details about prisoner transportation plans for security reasons.

Dubbed "Fast Eddie", Maher was working as a guard for a security company in 1993 when authorities say he conducted a heist that netted him a haul of approximately £1m.

He is alleged to have driven off in the armoured van as a fellow security guard made a delivery at a bank in Suffolk. The abandoned van was later discovered although the 50 bags containing coins and notes were gone.

A reward was offered, and there were reported sightings of Maher across Europe, but the trail eventually went cold.

At some point, his family fled to the US where Maher used aliases including Stephen King. It remains unclear what happened to the money.

Maher was arrested in February in Ozark, Missouri, where authorities said he was living under his brother's name and working as a cable technician. Since then he has been in custody in Springfield on federal charges of aggravated identity theft, document fraud and firearms violations.

Ledford said the deportation order has not affected the US charges against Maher.

"At this point there is still a federal indictment, and he's still considered a defendant in the federal criminal case," Ledford said.