Dramatic new CCTV video has emerged of Amir Khan being robbed of his £72,000 diamond-encrusted watch at gunpoint in East London, as the boxer admitted today that he is now ‘very scared’ to walk around the capital.
The Olympic silver medallist, 35, and his wife Faryal Makhdoom, 30, were crossing the road in Leyton when two thugs ran over and pointed a gun in his face while demanding the Franck Muller Vanguard Chronograph.
Khan – who is now in Dubai with his wife – handed the watch over and the thieves sped off in a car, but the incident on Monday left them both shaken. Khan said today he feels ‘very unsafe’ in London ‘because it is very dangerous’.
He has blamed Sadiq Khan for this fear, telling MailOnline that the London Mayor has failed to tackle crime in the capital and needs to ‘pull his finger out’. Today, Amir Khan also told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: ‘You know, even after it happened, I was still in London for another two days, and I was walking around and I was very scared.
‘I’m thinking: “I’ve not got a watch on me now, God forbid someone comes at me in the alleyways.” And I do honestly feel very unsafe when I’m walking around London… England… because it is very dangerous.’
Violent crime is on the rise under Sadiq Khan in London, according to official figures released by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in January. This data revealed there were 233,965 offences of ‘violence against the person’ recorded by the Metropolitan Police in 2021 – up 6.1 per cent or 13,358 from 220,607 in 2020.
Amir Khan has decided against moving to London, which had been the family’s original plan, and they are instead going to continue living in his hometown. He said: ‘London is not a place I want to live in anymore. Our plan to move there is not happening. We’re going to stick with living in our home in Bolton and spending time in Dubai.’
Social media users have been tweeting in support of Amir Khan’s views on the Mayor today, with one saying ‘I feel exactly the same as you’ and another adding that he is ‘right to blame Sadiq Khan for the crime rates in London’.
Susan Hill, the Greater London Authority Conservatives leader, added: ‘My view is similar to that of Amir Khan – Sadiq Khan is doing a terrible job running London in so many ways. Far too many are victims of crime and I really feel for Amir Khan and others who have been threatened on our London streets.’
It comes after other Twitter users have indicated that they plan to leave London due to high crime rates, with one tweeting Amir Khan to say: ‘London is a real s***hole… I’m glad my whole family has decided to move away now. It used to be a nice place years ago, sure there was crime but not like it is today. You couldn’t pay me to live there.’
Also on GMB today, Makhdoom said: ‘You work hard so you should be able to treat yourself, but I think Amir sometimes forgets that he could get targeted. You never ever, you never think this would happen, so it’s a really big wake-up call. I don’t think you can really walk the streets of London wearing expensive watches and jewellery.’
New footage of the assault, which was shown on GMB today, shows Amir Khan and Makhdoom crossing the road before the assailants approach him and steal the watch at gunpoint – as his wife flees and is almost hit by a car.
Amir Khan told GMB: ‘We just walked out the restaurant, me and my wife, and as I crossed the road I was literally just getting into the car, that’s when I saw someone went up to me. See, at first I thought maybe it’s like a friend of mine or something trying to scare me, but when I saw the gun and he put it literally in my face.
‘They ran at me and literally it’s the first time I’ve ever in my life I’ve even seen a gun in the UK. For someone to have that on the streets makes it so unsafe. I mean, that could have been anyone. And I couldn’t really retaliate at all because my wife was next to me. God forbid the person shot the gun and it hit my wife.
‘And I’m so happy that Faryal ran back and she made it away from that scene because anything could have happened. Could have been hit by a car, literally so close from being hit by the car, and then luckily the other workers and the owners of the restaurant went over to make sure that I was OK, but it was a bit too late by then.’
Meanwhile, Makhdoom – who is mother to the couple’s three children Lamaisah, seven, and Alayna, four, and Muhammad, two – has also posted on Instagram to defend how she fled, saying: ‘This isn’t Romeo and Juliet’.
1) New video shows Amir Khan (left circle) and Faryal Makhdoom (right) crossing the road in Leyton, East London, on Monday
2) The assailants (two right circles) approach Khan (second left circle) and Makhdoom (far left) after they cross the road
3) One of the assailants steals the watch at gunpoint (two men in centre circle) as Makhdoom (left) begins to flee
4) While the assault on Khan continues (left), Makhdoom runs away across the road (right) and is almost hit by a car
5) Makhdoom (right circle) then ends up on the other side of the road to Khan (left) as the assailants flee with the watch (left)
Amir Khan and Faryal Makhdoom are now in Dubai and appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today to talk about the ordeal
Twitter users have been supporting Amir Khan over his comments criticising Mayor Sadiq Khan over crime levels in London
The 30-year-old insisted she cannot ‘fight gunman for Amir’ or ‘get in front of Amir and get shot’ – so said she ran away and thought of the couple’s three children Lamaisah, seven, and Alayna, four, and Muhammad, two.
She reacted after some social media users criticised her, saying it was ‘lovely how his wife ran in the opposite direction’; ‘his wife ran – where is the love’ and ‘if you actually love someone, you ain’t running like she ran’.
How Sadiq Khan’s own data shows violent crime is on the rise in London
Violent crime is on the rise under Sadiq Khan in London, according to official figures released by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in January.
This revealed there were 233,965 offences of ‘violence against the person’ recorded by the Metropolitan Police in 2021 – up 6.1 per cent or 13,358 from 220,607 in 2020.
This catch-all term includes a range of offences from minor offences such as harassment and common assault, to serious offences such as murder and GBH.
Theft on a person was up 20.6 per cent – a rise of 2,067, from 25,574 to 27,641; while motor vehicle theft was also up from 25,574 to 27,641, a rise of 2,067 or 8.1 per cent.
But knife crime itself dropped in 2021 compared to 2020 – down from 11,852 to 10,623, which was a fall of 1,229 or 10.4 per cent; while gun crime was down from 1,719 to 1,358, which was a drop of 361 or 20.6 per cent.
The data also revealed that, when split by borough, Westminster had the highest levels of violent crime with 50,962 offences, followed by Newham on 34,081.
Mr Khan was elected in May 2016, and his office said that since then knife crime with injury is down by 12 per cent, gun crime is down by 29 per cent and burglary has fallen by 22 per cent. But a spokesman admitted there was ‘still a long way to go’ and that ‘keeping people safe in London remains the mayor’s number one priority’
Makhdoom then hit back on Instagram yesterday, defending herself to her 966,000 followers.
She said: ‘I’m reading comments about how I reacted at the time in the situation. First of all, you see two guns pointing at you. There is nothing you can do, you are helpless. Nothing at all can be done. I can’t fight gunman for Amir. I can’t get in front of Amir and get shot, this isn’t Romeo and Juliet.
‘At that time the best thing for me to do is think of my family, I have three children, and run and get help. That’s it, that’s the smartest thing I thought I could do.’
She also defended her husband for wearing an expensive Franck Muller Vanguard Chronograph watch at the time of the attack, adding: ‘You earn your money to buy nice things. You want to show them off and you deserve to because you work so harder. A lot of people aren’t happy with what you have and they envy it.’
Khan, who is a former boxing world champion, said he and his wife were crossing the road when two thugs ran over and pointed a gun in his face while demanding the watch. He handed it over and thieves sped off in a car.
The 35-year-old, who was unharmed, tweeted on Monday night: ‘Just had my watch taken off me at gun point in East London, Leyton. I crossed the road with Faryal, luckily she was few steps behind me. Two men ran to me, he asked for my watch whilst having a gun pointed in my face. The main thing is we’re both safe.’
Khan later assured fans he was doing well after the ordeal in another video published on his Instagram on Tuesday morning. He said: ‘Good morning everyone, last night was a bit mad but I’m glad everyone is safe.’
The former I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! star smiled and showed his bare wrist to the camera, adding: ‘It feels a bit weird not wearing a watch but it is what it is. I just wanted to tell you guys I’m all good. Me and the wife have now got some TV work to do.’
Khan then shared an image of himself and Makhdoom posing with Celebrity Juice presenter Leigh Francis, more commonly known as Keith Lemon, on set.
But the boxer, who is the former WBA and IBF light-welterweight champion, also later criticised London Mayor Sadiq Khan for failing to tackle crime in the capital, urging him to ‘pull his finger out’.
Some Twitter users have indicated that they plan to leave London in recent months due to high crime rates, with one (top left) tweeting Amir Khan this week to say: ‘It used to be a nice place years ago, sure there was crime but not like it is today’
Violent crime is on the rise under Sadiq Khan in London, according to official figures released by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime in January. This revealed there were 233,965 offences of ‘violence against the person’ recorded in 2021
Amir Khan’s wife Faryal Makhdoom shared CCTV footage of two men getting out of a Mercedes moments before the attack
The mugging happens in the top right hand corner of the video which was shared by Faryal Makhdoom after the attack
He told MailOnline: ‘My plan was to move to London later this year with Faryal and the kids but after what happened there’s no chance that we’ll be doing that. London is not a place I want to live in anymore. Our plan to move there is not happening.’
The Metropolitan Police issued this picture of the £72,000 custom-made Franck Muller watch stolen from Amir Khan
A spokesman for the Mayor said: ‘The mayor is appalled at what happened to Amir Khan and urges anyone with any information to come forward as soon as possible.
‘Overall, crime continues to fall in London, bucking the national trend, with knife crime with injury down by 12 per cent, gun crime down by 29 per cent and burglary down by 22 per cent since May 2016.
‘However there’s still a long way to go. Keeping people safe in London remains the mayor’s number one priority and he is taking action by being both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime.’
Hours before the attack, Amir Khan was photographed in Oxford Street wearing the watch, which is said to be decorated with 719 diamonds.
He was also seen wearing the timepiece during a charity event on Sunday evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
Khan shot to global stardom after winning the lightweight silver medal at the 2004 games in Athens aged just 17 and went on to win various world championship belts as a professional fighter.
He suggested he was unlikely to box again professionally after being badly beaten by rival Kell Brook in February, however.
Hours before the mugging on Monday, Khan was pictured with a fan while shopping in Oxford Street wearing his watch
The Olympic medalist was seen wearing the watch at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Saturday night
Faryal Makhdoom posted the serial number of the watch on Instagram in a bid to try and ‘find out who’s done this’
Khan shared an image of himself and Makhdoom posing with Celebrity Juice presenter Keith Lemon on set on Tuesday
It is not the first time the former champion, who is thought to be worth £30million, has been targeted by thieves.
Amir Khan and Faryal Makhdoom in London in April 2017
In 2018 he revealed that he had feared for his life when forced to fight off a gang of 20 men armed with metal bars who tried to steal his £100,000 Range Rover six years earlier.
‘It was really scary because I knew my life was on the line,’ he said at the time. ‘When you are in a situation like that you have to react quickly or you are going to get hurt. There were about 20 guys, all with metal bars.
‘I remember the first guy swinging this metal stick at my head but luckily he missed. He tried a second time and I countered him. He was out cold. Then another guy came at me but I was able to tackle him as well.’
Khan said he and his brother Haroon, who is also a boxer, drove away with a friend as quickly as possible. ‘People might say I was a coward for running away but I am happy I did, because I am still here. Those guys were big and out to hurt me,’ he said.
A Scotland Yard spokesman urged any witnesses to the mugging, which happened at about 9.15pm, to come forward. He added: ‘A man aged in his 30s is alleged to have been approached by two males who threatened him with a firearm before stealing his watch and fleeing.
‘There were no reports of any shots fired or any injuries. Police responded and conducted an area search.’
Khan and Makhdoom are pictured with Celebrity Juice presenter Leigh Francis on set on Tuesday, after their ordeal
Amir Khan criticised London Mayor Sadiq Khan for failing to tackle crime in the capital, urging him to ‘pull his finger out’
A daylight view of the area in Leyton, East London, where Amir Khan’s watch was taken at gunpoint on Monday night
Police also released an image of the watch yesterday and asked the public for any information about the ‘easily’ recognisable custom-made timepiece. There have not yet been any arrests.
Khan said on Twitter that a gun was pointed in his face as the assailants stole his watch on Monday before speeding off
Detective Constable Ben Grix, of the Metropolitan Police’s North East Command burglary and robbery team, said yesterday: ‘I am today releasing an image of the stolen watch which is a high-value Franck Muller timepiece valued at around £70,000.
‘It is a one-off custom made design and will be easily recognised by anyone it is offered to for sale. If you, or anyone you know is offered the watch at a discounted price please contact us immediately.’
He added: ‘If you were driving in the area around High Road, Leyton, at the time of the offence and have dashcam, please do check your footage for anything that might assist our investigation.’