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Tale of Ufc fighter who orchestrated $97 million bank heist
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Tale of Ufc fighter who orchestrated $97 million bank heist - 03-10-2014, 03:27 PM

http://mmakanvas.ninemsn.com.au/arti...ank-heist.html

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"To this day, one gunman and 32 million pounds ($59,309,570 AUD) are still unaccounted for."
Lee Murray had all the tools to become a UFC champion, but today he sits in a cramped Moroccan prison cell, charged with committing the largest cash heist in the UK’s history.

In 1963 a group of London criminals robbed a Glasgow-to-Ireland mail train, getting away with a cool £2.6 million ($4,818,902 AUD).

Dubbed "The Great Train Robbery", it is one of the most well-remembered and discussed robberies in history, but according to Kent police, in 2006, just 600 kilometres away from that railway heist a group of six small time crooks led by Murray rolled out of a cash depot with 20 times as much loot.

Just a few years earlier however, most pegged Murray, the UK’s most popular MMA fighter, to make his fortune in the cage, not by robbing banks.

Before he had ever stepped foot into a fenced in MMA arena to compete in a sanctioned fight, the British gangster had a wild reputation as a street fighter, and he lived up to those expectations at every turn.

UFC veteran Remco Pardoel once recounted a time that Murray single-handedly disposed of eight bouncers at a British nightclub. Early MMA fighter Dexter Casey has also re-told the tale of Murray choking a doorman unconscious before leaving him in a puddle of a strangers urine, but the most infamous bar brawling tale of Murrays career was when he allegedly knocked then UFC light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz out cold in a London alleyway.

Ortiz has always denied this ever took place, but several fighters, namely Matt Hughes and Pat Miletich, who trained alongside Murray at the time, have supported the Brit's claim.

Word of Murray throttling “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” travelled fast, and it wasn’t long before the UFC were pounding down the door of “Lightning” Lee.

The 185 pound (83kg) division in the UFC was a village without a king in 2004 when the charismatic youngster arrived. Murilo Bustamunte abandoned the weight class as champion two years prior to chase bigger money paydays in Japan’s Pride organisation, leaving the title vacated, and it would stay that way for almost three years.

Murray was expected to become an immediate player in the division, and perhaps be that star that made them revive the title, but he would only ever fight in the premier mixed martial arts organisation once.

Walking to the cage in an orange jumpsuit with a Hannibal Lecter mask on, Murray made his promotional debut at UFC 46, submitting 15 fight Octagon veteran Jorge Rivera in less than two minutes, but he would never return to the UFC again after being charged with attempted felony road rage just a few months later.

Murray had allegedly assaulted a motorist who sideswiped him, almost beating the driver to death. Charges were eventually dropped due to a lack of evidence, but the US State Department still denied the British slugger a work visa, crushing his hopes of being one of the UFC’s biggest and most marketable stars.

Murray would only fight once more in his career, in a losing effort against soon to be UFC middleweight champ and all-time great Anderson Silva inside a jam-packed Wembley Conference Centre.

The London Shootfighter product was always a fighter, but soon thereafter Murray would lay helpless in a hospital bed, fighting for his life after being stabbed outside the Funky Buddha nightclub after a wild night out in London.

"I was at a nightclub. I was with a few of my friends... we went to a casino and gambled and went to the club. Did a bit of partying. Come out of the club and there was a big fight that broke out outside the club between a group of guys and some guy that was with a friend of mine,” Murray said in an interview with now-defunct website SubFighter.com just months before the heist.

“One of my friends got involved in the fight. I tried to help him because about six or seven guys was on one of my friends. That's when I got stabbed. I got stabbed in the head first. I thought it was a punch. When I felt the blood coming down my face, I just wiped the blood and just continued to fight,” he explained.

“Next, I looked down at my chest and blood was literally shooting out of my chest. I looked down, and I knew I had been stabbed in the heart by the way the flow of the blood was coming out of my chest. It was literally flying out of my chest like a yard in-front of me," he continued.

Due to his growing popularity in the fight industry, and outrageous bad boy persona both in and outside of the cage, the media intently covered Murray’s story following the stabbing. Most relished the idea of covering his road to recovery, but none could have predicted how Murray's tale would twist.

The London born fighter plotted the Securitas Heist, which saw him come together with a group of six other bandits and nab £53 million (98,231,476 AUD) on one cold February night in 2006.

The group, some dressed as police officers with makeup disguises and fake mustaches, kidnapped depot manager Colin Dixon along with his wife and seven year old son and forced him to open the doors to the warehouse which held millions of pounds. Murray threatened to harm Dixon's small family, who were tied up and held at gunpoint should he not cooperate.

The frightened 63 year old reluctantly opened the vault to the Securitas Depot, which was surrounded by three nearby police stations filled with officers who were oblivious to the brazen crime going on right underneath their noses.



The thieves filled steel cages full of notes, transporting the money into the back of a truck with forklifts and shopping carts. They got away with £53 million ($97,903,758 AUD) when all was said and done, but inside the vault was in excess of 200 million pounds ($370,684,818 AUD), but they simply couldn’t fit any more cash into the truck.


The heavily armed gunmen left the scene 40 minutes after they gained access to the depot, leaving behind Dixon, his family, and several workers unharmed. By the time the manager sounded the alarm half an hour later (he was tied up), the group was nowhere to be found.

It seemed like the perfect crime, but within hours their plans would begin to unravel. A fortnight later, police had three men behind bars and pinpointed Murray as the mastermind, but “Lightnight” Lee was already out of the country and living in Morocco.

With his childhood friend and fellow MMA fighter Paul “The Enforcer” Allen in tow, Murray purchased a $1.5million mansion in the city of Rabat and was living the life of the rich and the famous indulging in excessive cocaine use, expensive jewelry, £5000 ($9236 AUD) nights out, and plastic surgery for their partners; but their life in the fast lane wouldn’t last long.

The gangsters were captured four months into their stay at a Moroccan mall where they were shopping with a group of friends, and were taken into custody after a minor struggle. Police found large amounts of drugs at his lavish mansion, and brought them in on those charges with hopes of sending the fighting duo back to the UK to face the music for the Securitas Heist.

Allen was extradited and sent back to Britain, but Morocco refused to do the same for Murray, who holds a Moroccan citizenship due to his father being born there. Murray was originally slapped with a 10 year sentence for his part in the crime, but an additional 15 years were later tacked on.

To this day, one gunman and 32 million pounds ($59,309,570 AUD) are still unaccounted for.

While inside "Lighting" has been as erratic and unpredictable as he was when he was a free man, fathering a child and even unsuccessfully plotting an escape.

Murray’s escape plans were foiled when a fellow inmate informed authorities that he had a laptop with internet access hidden in his cell. When prison authorities searched his area they discovered a number of hacksaw blades and learned that Murray had been starving himself so he could squeeze through a narrow opening to get out of the prison.

Morgan Freeman’s character Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding in the 1994 classic film ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ was “known to locate certain things from time to time” and it seems Murray has those abilities as well, somehow gaining access to a mobile phone to conduct a six hour long text message interview with MMA site MiddleEasy.

Living in a tiny room with 23 inmates and only 16 beds, Murray explained what a day in his life behind bars typically entails.

“Wake up about 8AM, we have our own hob to cook food on so I make some breakfast, usually oats, fruit yogurt and protein shake, then 9:30am the door opens to go out to the yard so I usually do some cardio, interval training with sprints and stuff, train for about a one hour, then go back to the room and have a carb and protein drink, then I heat a big saucepan of water and tip it into a bucket and go into the toilet room to have a shower if that’s what you want to call it. I use a pot to scoop the water out the bucket to tip over me, when I finish I have something to eat again, something light. The door closes again at 11am, I sleep a little, then the door opens at 2:30pm, there’s a guy here who was a kickboxing champion Zakaria Moussaoui. Me and him do some Thai training, pad work sparring or kettle-bells, then at 5pm the door closes again (until) the morning.” Murray said.

If the one time UFC fighter serves his entire 25 year sentence, he will be 58 years old when he is released in 2035.
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03-10-2014, 04:15 PM

Interesting!

Looks like they had some rats in the group but looks like one man is still out there living it up.





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03-10-2014, 04:27 PM

They almost got away.
   
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03-10-2014, 04:36 PM

With a large amount of cash. I'd say that is one of the few bank jobs in recent history that would almost worth the risk. But I'm a family man now and no amount would be worth messing this up again
   
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03-10-2014, 05:05 PM

Ya that much cash it would be very tempting. Doesnt sound like hes got it to bad eat, sleep, train wish thats all i had to do lol.


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03-10-2014, 10:17 PM

was there a movie made abt him ??
   
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03-10-2014, 10:38 PM

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Originally Posted by d2r2ddd View Post
was there a movie made abt him ??
Good question idk?
   
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03-10-2014, 11:03 PM

abit similar to Pain & Gain by Mark Wahlberg
   
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03-11-2014, 05:28 PM

Lee Murray is 100% gangster...he was caught trying to escape(starving himself), another time(trying to cut bars), with a computer, another time with pounds of drugs in jail he was selling...completely NUTS
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