Man accused of masterminding deadly raid on travel agency claims he was owed £12k by the owner

Murder of PC at Universal travel
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Man accused of masterminding deadly raid on travel agency claims he was owed £12k by the owner

A man on trial for the murder of a police officer shot dead during a raid on a travel agency claimed the owner of the Bradford store owed him £12,000.

Universal Express was raided by three men in November 2005 and as they fled the shop, PC Sharon Beshenivsky, who was responding to the burglary with her colleague PC Teresa Milburn, was shot dead. 

Piran Ditta Khan told Leeds Crown Court that he had used Universal Express to transfer money since 1968 but that he had ‘lost trust’ in the owner Mohammad Yousaf and his nephew Mohammad Ishaque in 1996 when £12,000 he gave them to send to his brother in Pakistan was never transferred.

Khan claimed Hassan Razzaq, one of the men who carried out the robbery, had offered to ‘get his money back’ after they’d met on a business trip to Aberdeen and Khan told him the story.

He claimed Razzaq told him: “Show me the place or show me the person he is, I will get your money.”

Khan said Razzaq never told him how he was planning to get the money back and he claimed he never went to the travel agency himself.

Prosecutors allege that Khan remained in a car outside Universal Express during the robbery, and claim he is guilty of PC Beshenivsky’s murder due to his ‘pivotal’ role planning the raid and knowing the robbers were armed.

The police officer, who had only been in her job for nine months, was shot at point blank range as the robbers fled the store. PC Milburn was shot in the chest but survived.

The other men involved in the robbery have since been convicted of offences including murder, manslaughter, robbery and possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.

Two months after the robbery, Khan travelled to Pakistan. He was detained by authorities there in 2020 and extradited to the UK last year.

He denies murder, two counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and two counts of possession of a prohibited weapon.

The trial continues.

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