Story highlights

Edward John Maher arrested on immigration charges at his U.S. home, ICE says

Maher, 56, is suspect in 1993 United Kingdom theft, ICE says

British media: Maher was a guard in armored delivery vehicle

He allegedly drove off with 1 million British pounds, according to media reports

CNN —  

A British man suspected of stealing an armored van containing 1 million pounds in England 19 years ago was arrested Wednesday morning by U.S. authorities in southwest Missouri, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman said.

Edward John Maher, 56, was arrested on immigration charges at his home in Ozark, Missouri, ICE spokeswoman Gail Montenegro said. He “remains in ICE custody pending removal proceedings,” she said.

Previous media reports in the United Kingdom said Maher was wanted in connection with the January 1993 theft of an armored van carrying 1 million pounds (slightly more than $1.5 million at 1993 exchange rates, according to Federal Reserve records) in coins and notes. British authorities accuse Maher, then a security guard, of driving off with the van while a fellow guard was making delivery to Lloyds Bank in Felixstowe, England, British media reported.

U.K. authorities believe Maher eventually transferred the money to a car, abandoned the van and drove to an airport, where he took a U.S.-bound flight, British media reported. He wasn’t seen since, according to the reports.

Wednesday’s arrest happened after Ozark police informed the FBI about “a possible fugitive,” FBI representative Bridgette Patton said.

“We were led to believe that individual in question could possibly be Eddie Maher, a fugitive from the United Kingdom. We reached out and contacted ICE,” which arrested Maher, Patton said.

It’s not clear how long Maher has been in Missouri, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Josh Nixon told CNN affiliate KSPR in Springfield, Missouri.

The station quoted Nixon and neighbors of Maher as saying he had been working for a local cable company.

CNN’s John Fricke contributed to this story.