The Millennium Dome Bombing Saga


MDB News
In 2002 Thursday 18/01/2002
Corruption Scandal Gagging Orders

PM TudorThe whispers of corruption in connection with the fire sale of goods left over from the Millennium Dome have been stifled. Dogsbodies working for Deputy Prime Minister Henry Tudor (left) have been tossing injunctions around like confetti – all paid for by the British taxpayer.
   They are targetting anyone who looks inclined to mention the identities of the participants in the scandal. MD News (not our sister publication even though lots of people think we're related if not identical twins) was one of the first recipients but the gaggers have yet to catch up with MDB News. So we're spilling beans while we still have the opportunity.
   What happened is that some high-value electronic equipment, all paid for by the taxpayer, was scheduled to be installed in the Millennium Dome in the middle of March last year as part of the legacy deal with the Dome's private owners. Unfortunately, the Dome was destroyed in mid-February 'under mysterious circumstances'.
   The equipment was moved out of its warehouse about a week after the Dome was destroyed (Editorial note: the Dome wasn't destroyed by the Millennium Dome Bomber, as some revisionistas are making out) and stashed in a private warehouse some 30 miles from the Dome site. The clear intention was to 'lose' the equipment and remove it from the government's books.
   In May 2001, the equipment was sold off cheaply without the benefit of the government's statutory tendering process. The consortium purchasing it is believed to have paid less than 12% of the cost price of the goods.
   The embarrassment for the DPM is that one of the beneficiaries of the sale was an old trade union crony of his – Ronnie Maginstry, who was the treasurer of the Federated Union of Maritime & Dockside Workers when the Mr. Tudor was the FUMDW general secretary. Mr. Maginstry and half a dozen civil servants at the Ministry of Heritage are now the subject of a police investigation.
   The smart money is betting that the whole business will be swept under the carpet after Mr. Maginstry & Co. have been persuaded to cough up a bit more cash for their purchases to avoid gaol for themselves and serious embarrassment for the DPM. So don't expect to see much more on this story except in political memoirs 30 years from now.
   In the meantime, the grandly titled Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is insisting that nothing dodgy occurred or, if anything dodgy did occur, the DPM wasn't involved in it.

report by Insider []


MD News
2002 Friday, 2002/02/15
Dome Jury can give majority verdicts

Mr. Justice Ancoome, the judge in the 'Trial of the Century', has told the jury that they can return majority verdicts on the men accused to plotting to steal diamonds worth £350 million from the Millennium Dome. The unusually balanced jury of six women and six men has been debating the guilt and innocence of the prisoners for over a week. They are believed to have sent a note to the judge late yesterday afternoon expressing difficulty in reaching unanimous verdicts on all charges.
   The main issue for the jury seems to be the legal difference between 'conspiracy to steal' and 'conspiracy to rob'. The men who are alleged to have entered the Millennium Dome have claimed that they believed they could just take the diamonds, which would amount to straightforward theft, the judge told the jury.
   The prosecution stands by its assertion that the gang arrived equipped with a JCB digger, wearing body armour, and carrying smoke grenades, stink bombs and bottles of ammonia as weapons in additions to 'implements of demolition' such as sledgehammers. Such preparations mean that the charge should be the much more active, and serious, offence of 'conspiracy to rob'.
   The judge has asked the jury to exclude from their thoughts, the question of sentences when they reach their verdicts. Meanwhile, everyone waits for a decision.

filed by Jarvic Klute []


MD News
In 2002Monday, 2002/02/18
DCI Paul Armour
Headed Operation Merlin
The hunt for the Millennium Dome Bomber continues, we are told, although the police seem no nearer catching him/her/them than they were at the dawn of McBlair's Bogus Millennium.
   Both the Dome and former Prime Minister Angus McBlair are now history, although the arguments about who did what and who took cash from whom rumble on. But one unfinished chapter of the Dome's saga has now been concluded.
   The trial of the Dome Diamond Gang ended at the Old Bailey yesterday with the five principal gang members collecting gaol sentences of 15 to 22 years for conspiracy to rob. An associate went down for 5 years following conviction for a lesser offence.
   Detective Chief Inspector Armour of Scotland Yard was present in court for the sentences. Leader of Operation Merlin, he directed a lengthy surveillance operation and then the arrests of the thieves and their accomplices
   Two of the verdicts were by an 11 to 1 majority, suggesting that one member of the jury belonged to the so-called "sceptic majority". The name was coined back in November 2000, when an opinion poll showed that 83% of those questioned thought that the news of the robbery was some sort of hoax.
   Worse, about half of the sceptics thought that it was a publicity gimmick dreamed up by the notorious Pierson McAndelsen, chief crony and Heritage Minister to the then Prime Minister Angus McBlair. McAndelsen is still officially a missing person.
   The trial, which lasted 6 weeks, took many peculiar twists and turns. The thieves tried to portray themselves as cheerful Cockney wide-boys and provided a succession of stories designed to shift the blame elsewhere or invalidate the charges.
   One of their best pieces of invention was their defence to a charge of endangering life by crashing through a set of the Dome's hardened plastic doors in a stolen JCB digger. Their lawyer managed to keep his face straight while arguing that 'the Dome was always empty so there was no danger of hitting anyone inside' - but we suspect that it was a close-run thing.
   The court was treated to another ingenious flight of fancy when the gang tried to pretend that there had been no robbery. They had just been 'conducting a feasability study for a film', which had got slightly out of hand. By then, it was more or less inevitable that the thieves would accused the police of setting up the whole thing 'to make the force look good'.
   They also concocted a story involving Chechen or Russian gangsters who, allegedly, had threatened to kill the gang members and their families if they failed to pull off the so-called 'Robbery of the Millennium'. While it was true that two of those arrested in connection with the robbery are from Chechnya, the prosecution showed that both are in this country as illegal migrants rather than as representatives of a Chechen Mafia.
   When their 'rap sheets' were unveiled after the guilty verdicts had been reached, it became clear that the accused were all career criminals with a talent for planning ingenious robberies. Their downfall at the Dome came as a result of sheer bad luck. A previous plan went wrong, the police put gang members under surveillance and that led to the gang charging into an elaborate ambush at the Dome.
   There are other threads of the Millennium Dome Saga still to be unravelled, but many commentators expect that their ends will remain shrouded in mystery until the McBlair Cabinet Papers are released - those which had not been shredded in an attempt to preserve some remnants of his tattered reputation, cynics say.

filed by Jarvic Klute []

Dome Robbery Sentences In Detail

Walter Denisov, 48, of Bermondsey, London, was arrested inside the Millennium Diamond exhibit with sledgehammer. He was Alan Redmond's right-hand man. Convicted of conspiracy to rob, he received 22 years

Michael Ianbow, 57, of no fixed address was arrested inside the Millennium Diamond exhibit with sledgehammer. A career criminal and a member of a notorious family of East-London based drug traffickers, he was convicted of conspiracy to rob and received 18 years

Peter Burnside, 51, from Deal, Kent, was arrested inside the Dome. He was armed with smoke bombs and an ammonia spray and his job was to fend off resistance from the Dome's staff and members of the public. Convicted of conspiracy to rob, he received 15 years.

Eustace Carmaggio, 36, from Islington, London, remained outside Dome. He was armed with smoke bombs and an ammonia spray and it was his job to keep the escape route clear. He was convicted of conspiracy to rob and received 15 years.

Alan Redmond, 39, of no fixed address drove the JCB digger used to smash a plastic entrance door to the Dome. A career criminal and the mastermind of the raid, he was convicted of conspiracy to rob and received 22 years

Karl Malvern, 43, from Catford, London, was arrested in the decoy speedboat. He insisted that he was there under duress and he had no idea where he was supposed to take the boat or why. He was acquitted of conspiracy to rob but convicted conspiracy to steal and received 5 years.

filed by Saraman Zinovief []


MD News
In 2002Wednesday, 2002/02/20
The Millennium Star
The Millennium Star
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
Fedor Carson, 42, of Islington, London, admitted conspiracy to steal the Millennium Diamond collection, which included the fabulous Millennium Star [right]. He organized both the real getaway vehicles (a pair of anonymous white vans) and the decoy speedboat. He was arrested on waste ground two miles from the Dome with the second getaway van and received a four-year gaol sentence for his part in the robbery attempt.
   Mikhael Schwabrin, 37, from Ashingford, Kent, was the driver of the first getaway van. He admitted conspiring to steal the Millennium Diamonds and asked for 2 armed robberies on security vans to be taken into consideration. He received a 7 year sentence and the judge recommended him for deportation on release.
   All charges against his father, Viktor Schwabrin, 63, of Ashingford, Kent, were dropped last year. Mr. Schwabrin senior is currently appealing against his own deportation order.

filed by Saraman Zinovief []


MD News
2002 Thursday, 2002/02/12
Dome Diamond raiders sunk by
an informer
The Millennium Star
"I was twelve inches from a huge
pay day" – Dome raider
Those lucky enough to gain access to the Old Bailey for the 'Trial of the Century' got a sneak preview of the script of what will, one day, be a Hollywood blockbuster. Some of Africa's most stunning diamonds were included in the Millennium celebration display. The Millennium Star took centre stage but the other bits and pieces pushed the value of the entire collection up to around £350 million.
   The identity of the person who came up with the idea of stealing the most amazing collection of diamonds ever displayed to the general public remains unknown. But the trial of the Dome Robbers heard that their initial inspiration came from a Dome employee, who remains similarly anonymous. Most of the gang members treated the idea as a joke and they looked on their first trip to the Dome as no more than a day out. All that changed when they saw how lax security at the Dome seemed to be.
Police Ambush   A 'pie in the sky' venture became a 'piece of cake'. There found so few people around that the gang felt confident about pulling off the robbery as soon as the Dome opened for their target day. Little did they suspect that an informer in their ranks had tipped off the police and they were under observation every step of the way as they made their plans.
   Their final plan involved smashing through clear, toughened plastic doors with a JCB digger and then posting 2 men to guard their escape route while a 3-man task force went to the diamond exhibition. With one of the inside men standing by with smoke bombs and an ammonia spray to discourage interference, the other two planned to shatter the armoured glass on the diamond exhibit, which was three-quarters of an inch thick, with a nail gun and then finish the job with sledgehammers.
Smash and grab   On the day of the robbery, everything seemed to be going to plan. But when two gang members reached the diamond vault, it all went pear-shaped for them. Around 100 police officers, some of disguised as cleaners and other Dome staff and many of them armed, sprang the trap. The police were then able to add film of the arrests to their video documentary of the gang's preparations.
   The reason why the gang members were wearing body armour on what was supposed to be a simple robbery against little or no resistance was that they had been worried about their safety after the job was over. They had been afraid that their buyers for the diamonds would try to shoot them instead of paying up. Of course, it is a matter of history that the real diamonds had been replaced by fakes. Which makes it more than likely that the buyers would have become somewhat paranoid if some or all of the gang had escaped with any loot.
   Maybe, when someone does make the film, they'll choose to give it a slightly more dramatic ending with a couple of the gang breaking through the police cordon and another shoot-out later on when they try to dispose of the fakes and their buyers turn nasty!

filed by Clovis Orthank []


MD News
In 2002Saturday, 2002/03/30
All I Got For Xmas Was A Shredder!
Georgina Graham, QC
Head of NAO investigators
Photo: Tim deLong
A new report from the National Audit Office has revealed that the true extent of the corruption and incompetence surrounding the construction and administration of the Millennium Dome will never be known – as the documents relating to 146 contracts cannot be found.
   The Graham Report comes, well, not exactly hot on the heels of an earlier report, which uncovered liabilities of about £18.9m, which those allegedly operating the Dome did not know about. The report also reported a tangle of invoices worth about £136m, which contained duplicated or triplicated information and a lot of sheer invention.
   Each of the lost contracts was worth up to £50,000. No one can say when the documents 'went missing' but it is now clear that A New Millennium Dawn, the Dome's governing quango, did not bother to check whether the taxpayer received value for money on the contracts – or whether the deals were bogus and fraudulent. ANMD also had little real idea of the true state of the Dome's finances.
   A police spokesman found the news 'disappointing', although insiders say that the Met is probably grateful not to have unravel further financial tangles. Well over 30 people have been arrested in connection with Dome-related fraud but none of the cases has yet come to trial. The police officers on the cases are said to be suffering from severe cases of battle fatigue!
   The NAO report also reveals that 84 contracts were awarded directly, i.e. without following the usual rules on competitive tendering. Investigations into cronyism and corruption in connection with most of these contracts are on-going. The report is also likely to fuel demands from MPs for an apology from the Heritage Department for keeping secret a guarantee to A New Millennium Dawn that the directors would not be liable for the losses if the company had gone bankrupt before the Dome's opening.
   The word from the Downing Street press office is that the apology culture of the McBlair regime was a waste of time and Real Labour will have none of it. So it would be unwise for the outraged MPs to hold their collective breath!
   Finally, the latest leaks suggest that Georgina Graham's NAO Task Force is investigating the existence of secret government bank accounts which were set up by Pierson McAndelsen, the sometime Minister of Heritage and chief crony of sometime prime minister Angus McBlair, who is still officially listed as a missing person. The accounts are believe to contain up to £48m of Dome cash, which was held in reserve for emergencies.
   Worse, it is believed that the interest on these accounts is still being paid as fees to several former Dome administrators, including Dame Shirley Worthy, the original 'Dome Secretary'. The police are said to be investigating.

p.s. The hunt for the Millennium Dome Bomber continues.

filed by Clovis Orthank []


MD News
In 2002Thursday, 2002/05/16
Old Story – New Spin
Pierson McAndelsen
McAndelsen: "Sultan of Spin"
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
When his party came to power, Pierson McAndelsen published a book with the title The McBlair Revolution in praise of his Leader. A memorable review described it as "one of the most comprehensive grovels ever perpetrated in the name of poltical literature". Most people took the reviewer's word for it and the volume became one of the moderately great bought but unread books of our time – a bit like A Brief History of Time but on a 'matchstick to a tree trunk' scale. Now, allegedly, McAndelsen has updated the work - mainly in ways which show how the McBlair administration failed because it lacked the courage to follow his ideas to sensible conclusions.
   The former Sultan of Spin now accuses his ex-colleagues of damaging the party through excessive use of spin. Mr. McBlair is also charged with recruiting inexperienced or overzealous media manipulators [and he listened to them rather than McAndelsen, is the sub-text].
   Pierson McAndelsen manages to brand the whole Millennium Dome experience as a McBlair mistake which [rightly, McA suggests] cost him the leadership of his party. The venture, predictably, went off course when the then prime minister stopped listening to McAndelsen and went off on his own tangent.
   The words 'failure' and 'failing' occur regularly along with implications of hesitancy and a fear to take action almost to the point of cowardice. 'Vanity' also figures high on a list of the most frequently used words - a concept not totally unfamiliar the author of the book. When in office, one of McAndelsen's favourite responses to a routine 'how are you?' was, "Still powerful, still handsome," in a contented purr.
   McAndelsen's party came to office with plans to change society and the way we are governed. According to the latest take on the early McBlair years in office, there was lots of talk, a few half-hearted reforms, most of them aimed at concentrating power in London and in the hands of the Prime Minister, and some poorly explained dabbling which failed to deliver improvements in public services.
   In the section on spin, McAndelsen says it either under-matched or over-matched the Government's achievements at the time of spinning. A balance was never found except in the early days [i.e. when McAndelsen was in complete charge of spin-doctoring].
   Those who have seen drafts of the book say it speaks with McAndelsen's authentic voice. Cynics insist that his ghost writer's style is easy to imitate and was much mocked when the book was first published, six years ago.
   What no one is saying is whether Scotland Yard has someone haunting his publisher's offices in case the missing McAndelsen turns up for an editorial conference, remembering that he still has a lot of questions to answer about the Dome and other scandals - confessions which he failed to include in the update to his opus.
   Now, people are wondering where to put the update. No, not a choice between the bookshelf and the waste bin. Under Fact or Fiction.

filed by Clovis Orthank []


MD News
In 2002Sunday, 2002/05/19
McBlair Takes On Europe
Angus McBlair
McBlair: "Not in hiding"
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
Former British Prime Minister Angus McBlair is believed to be seeking selection as a candidate for the next round of European Parliament elections. In fact, he is hoping to become an MEP for the Tuscany region of Italy, where he has been 'not in hiding' since his abrupt departure from the British political scene.
   McBlair quit the UK under a cloud in February, 2001, and he was effectively removed from parliament when his party announced that it would be calling a by-election in his Edinburgh Prestonpans constituency under the new Parliamentary Conduct Act – appropriately, on Sunday, April 1st, 2001.
   On the last Thursday of April, the seat fell to an Independent, a serving local councillor, who had been thrown out of the party for challenging arbitrary and undemocratic decisions by the leadership, and who described himself in his campaign as Casual Labour rather than the Old, New or Real sort.
   Insiders are suggesting that some sort of deal has been made to ensure that McBlair remains silent on the so-called Italian Connection to the Millennium Dome scandal. In return, McBlair will receive immunity from prosecution in the UK and a position, of sorts, on the European political stage.

filed by Jarvic Klute []

'Mandy' Lost For A While, Not Gone

Pierson McAndelsen
McAndelsen: "In custody"
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
Another 'political refugee', sometime Sultan of Swing and Heritage Minister Pierson McAndelsen, has turned up in Jersey, where he is reported to be in police custody. Insiders are suggesting that the police had been keeping watch on a holiday home owned by his publisher. McAndelsen was arrested when he arrived for a conference about the new edition of his book The McBlair Revolution.
   McAndelsen's reappearance is particularly galling to the conspiracy theorists, who were so sure that they had worked out which motorway bridge contained his remains.
   Dome Watchers are now expecting a rush of lawyers to the Can't Prosecute Service as shady businessmen, politicians and others who swapped backstage deals with McAndelsen seek to plead guilty to as little as possible and have as much as possible swept under the carpet in return for their co-operation.
   It is to be hoped that Scotland Yard is as porous as the McBlair regime was when it comes to leaks on who copped for buckets of Millennium Dome cash and what McBlair, McAndelsen and their cronies got in return.

filed by Clovis Orthank []


MD News
In 2002Friday, 2002/05/24
Someone has leaked!
Pierson McAndelsen
Pierson McAndelsen
Photo: Oliver Strange Agency
A rumour is circulating that the reason why former Dome Maestro Pierson McAndelsen was arrested is that he was involved in a plot to take over the Millennium Dome. According to a reliable source close to the Downing Street press office, McAndelson took part in a scheme to sabotage the Doshan Syndicate's bid for the Dome.
   Working with the chief accountant of ANMD, the Dome's managing quango, it was McAndelson's job to make the 'Doshans' think they would to be stuck with an incalculable liability if they bought the Dome. [Which is not too far from the truth! Ed.]
   The police are being very tight-lipped at the moment, having been leaned on heavily by the government, but it seems that they were putting off arresting McAndelson until they had located the secret bank account, from which he was drawing funds for the sabotage scheme and also for his own personal use.
   Jiro Karoke of the Doshan Syndicate is believed to have been working with McAndelsen as the inside man of the conspiracy. He is believed to have been a partner in a rival bid for the Dome. Karoke was killed in London in early September 2000 in what the police then believe was a mugging that went wrong.
   Scotland Yard now knows that Karoke was killed by a Japanese Yakuza gangster and the assassin was then killed by a man who has links to a Shanghai Triad gang. A senior police officer has admitted that about the only certainty in this case is that there are lots of loose ends and few of them will ever be tied up.

filed by Clovis Orthank []


MD News
In 2002 Friday 13/09/2001
Carnell-Wyatt Got A Deal?
Carnell-Wyatt: Suspended sentence
She was busted in a flurry of media feeding frenzy a year ago, but Robyn Carnell-Wyatt seems to have emerged rather well from the police investigation into corruption in connection with Millennium Dome contracts. Although she awarded lucrative contracts to her then boyfriend, Amos Roche, Ms Carnell-Wyatt got away with a three-month prison sentence suspended for two years at Chester Crown Court yesterday.
   Roche received contracts worth 20million from A New Millennium Dawn, the Millennium Dome's management quango, according to a whistle-blower. Ms Carnell-Wyatt was a contracts executive with ANMD at the time.
   Someone with a shredder had made following paper trails at ANMD extremely difficult. But luckily, the whistle blower was able to provide 'some joined-up documents' to connect Ms Carnell-Wyatt and Mr. Roche, who is still awaiting a trial date on just 4 charges.
   His sometime girlfriend pleaded guilty when she was charged earlier this year, and then everything went very quiet. So quiet, in fact, that those in the know are confident that she made some sort of deal with the Crown Prosecution Service. Her trial – out in the sticks at Chester – was a very brief affair and the judge spent more time singing the praises of Detective Chief Inspector Sam Breitsch of Scotland Yard's Fraud Squad than on the actual business of the case.
   There is talk of further charges for Ms Carnell-Wyatt in the future, but few details are on offer.

filed by Dana Howmaj []

In 2002
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