Illegal Tender

by | Apr 8, 2024 | Author | 0 comments

This fast-paced tale has kept most readers on the edge of their seats as the action starts on page one and doesn’t stop until the very last page.

The story is set within a little-known industry that secures, processes and transports billions of pounds every day for Britain’s diverse commercial economy.

One of the largest cash-in-transit (armoured car) companies, Shieldcash Limited has a national network of branches throughout the UK that provides the capacity to ensure that the nation’s cash and cash assets are safely and securely processed from the central bank through the commercial banking network and to and from the nation’s businesses.

Shieldcash’s Slough operation becomes the target of a gang of violent and highly skilled armed robbers. The story opens with an intense armed robbery against a cash-in-transit van that is returning to base after a routine Monday morning schedule. The planning and execution are vividly described and provide a fascinating insight into the two leading criminals, their personalities, backgrounds, and modus operandi.

Six months later, the same gang carries off a skillfully planned and executed robbery of the company’s cash-in-transit branch in Slough. They escape with a record number of British pounds, US dollars and Euros as well as a consignment of diamonds.

As in the case of the first attack, the second robbery appears to have been pulled off with exemplary planning, precision and inside knowledge. Evidence and leads with which the police can pursue their investigation are almost non-existent, but the probability of an “insider” within the CIT company’s hierarchy emerges and it begins to emerge that they may be dealing with an international crime syndicate.

The responsibility for the criminal investigation into both attacks, lands in the lap of the Slough police and its CIO and his team pursue numerous leads and sub-stories throughout the tale that ultimately lead to the arrest and conviction of the two main conspirators but not without the somewhat independent assistance of a beautiful and particularly wily insurance investigator, Samantha Kelly.

Sam is an attractive underwriter employed by a Lloyds Insurance syndicate in London that oversees the CIT company’s risk portfolio. The magnitude of the loss places undue pressure on the insurance syndicate and Sam decides that an extraordinary effort needs to be made to recover as much of the loss as possible. The best chance of her recovering the stolen goods lies in her ability to befriend the suspected “insider” but in view of the obstacles that due process sometimes present, she keeps her activities secret from the police until much later when it suits her ultimate objective to divulge all.

The adventure takes Sam on a dangerous journey of events that unfold in the Netherlands, France and Jersey as she continues to bring all of the pieces together.

The story ends with considerable success on the part of the police with the final arrest of the remaining criminals at large, at which point a twist in the tale provides for an unexpected conclusion that sets the scene for a powerful sequel.

Illegal Tender is available as an E-Book or paperback on Amazon worldwide.

The author, Richard Phillips retired after a career involved with the cash-in-transit industry in South Africa, renowned for having one of the highest crime rates in the world. His knowledge and expertise of the inner workings of the industry brings credibility to his unique story.

Richard retired in 2019 after a 52-year career in law enforcement and industrial/commercial security in the Republic of South Africa.

Richard specialised in cash logistics and cash security management for the last 30 years of his career having served as a technology development general manager and later Sales Director for Fidelity Cash Management Services.

In 2007 Richard played a leading role in the creation of Cash Connect Management Solutions, an early pioneer in the supply of an automated retail cash management service to the country’s retail and wholesale markets. In his capacity as joint chief executive officer, he helped Cash Connect pursue a steady and successful expansion into a leading Fintech company until his retirement in November 2019.

In 2004, Richard received an honouree life membership of the Security Association of South Africa and also received a special Cash-in-Transit industry commendation in recognition of his contribution to the industry.

Richard and his wife Ann were ardent adventurers and spent many years exploring Southern Africa from the Cunene River to Cape Agulhas and from the Fish River Canyon to Mozambique during which time they shared their many fascinating encounters in various outdoor and camping magazine articles.

He has written numerous articles and presented many papers on security and cash management subjects throughout his career and since retiring has taken to writing novels as well as general commentary for publication, often with his unique satirical take.

He is an avid lover of African wildlife, and his hobbies include off road touring, camping, birding and fishing. He captures his tales on

Richard has enjoyed writing all of his life and while most of his work involved his professional career, once retired, he took the opportunity to tell a story that takes the reader into a generally unknown world of complex and dangerous operations constantly under attack by armed criminals.

If Sam’s adventures in Illegal Tender becomes a successful read, Richard wants to take her on another adventure to Africa where the intrigues and complexities of the often mergence of crime and governance between the lowest and highest of personages, some of whom pursue extraordinary relationships with some of the world’s most despicable leaders, offers a matrix of unbelievable intrigue.      

Richard feels particularly honoured to have been invited to share his story on the Author’s Lounge.


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