Swoop halts £40m Heathrow robbery

Police foiled an attempted robbery of £40 million worth of cash and precious metals at Heathrow Airport today.

Six men were arrested in the raid by armed officers from the Metropolitan Police's Flying Squad at about 10am this morning, Scotland Yard said.

But there were reports that two more suspects had escaped in a hijacked van.

A gang of men in a white Transit van rammed through the shutters of a warehouse in Bedfont Road, on the outskirts of Heathrow, Scotland Yard said.

They jumped out of the van and threatened staff at the Swiss Port Cargo warehouse with at least one gun, knives and other weapons including cudgels.

The men were believed to have been trying to steal £40 million worth of cash and precious metals - reported to include gold.

But officers from the Flying Squad and the Metropolitan Police's armed response team stopped the raid and arrested six men.

A Scotland Yard spokesman added: "A further two suspects hijacked a white van and forced the driver who was inside to drive them out of the entrance in the direction of Stanwell.

"The driver of the van, which was recovered shortly afterwards, was not injured."

Scotland Yard was investigating reports that the two suspects were still on the run.

A Heathrow airport spokesman said: "We understand the incident was outside the airport's southern perimeter road. It has not affected airport operations."