Five more to face trial over €7.2m bank heist
Published 08/02/2010 | 05:00
GARDAI have recommended that five more suspects face criminal charges arising out of their investigation into the biggest bank heist in the history of the State.
The recommendations are contained in files that have recently been sent by senior officers to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), who will determine if charges should be brought.
An armed gang, mainly based in the centre of Dublin, were blamed by gardai for the tiger kidnap last February, which resulted in a record €7.2m being taken from the Bank of Ireland branch at College Green in the capital.
One man has already pleaded guilty to possession of some of the stolen cash and is due to be sentenced next month.
Another suspect, charged with handling the stolen money, failed to appear in court last November and is believed by gardai to have left the State.
The new files to the DPP recommend that the five be charged with either handling stolen money or obstructing the prosecution of another person.
The files were sent off following months of inquiries by the investigation team, which has a headquarters at Naas garda station.
The evidence presented by the gardai to back up their recommendations include analyses of mobile phone records and the results of forensic and DNA tests.
Last month the Irish Independent disclosed that a Bank of Ireland employee had been arrested and taken for questioning to Naas garda station. He was later released without charge.
It was also revealed that an internal investigation by the bank into the security breakdown, which led to the massive robbery, had resulted in two other employees leaving the organisation.
Within hours of the robbery, gardai stopped a suspect car and carried out a series of searches, which yielded €1.74m in cash.
But the rest of the haul has not yet been located.
On February 27 last year, four hostages were tied up and held captive overnight after the armed gang forced their way into a house at Badger's Hill in Kilteel, near the Kildare-Dublin border.
One of the hostages, a bank employee, was sent to the bank to collect the cash. Another sustained a head wound after she was struck with a vase.
Procedures were not followed and the gardai were not alerted about the kidnap.
The car used to take away the cash was later found burnt out at an apartment block near the Tolka House pub at Glasnevin Hill, Dublin.