Saturday 24 February 2018

Gardai quiz gang figure over €7.2m bank heist

Tom Brady Security Editor

A NOTORIOUS member of an armed gang has been arrested by gardai in connection with the biggest tiger kidnap in the history of the State.

The suspect was detained by armed officers in Dublin's north inner city and taken for questioning to Naas garda station about a tiger kidnap in February last year when a record €7.2m was taken from the Bank of Ireland branch at College Green in Dublin.

The man was detained in Summerhill and is regarded by gardai as a member of a notorious robbery gang based on the northside.

A number of suspects were detained shortly after the robbery and two appeared in court, while files were prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to others.

Earlier this year, the Irish Independent disclosed a bank employee had been arrested and taken to Naas for questioning. He was later released without charge.

It was also revealed 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 raid, gardai had stopped a suspect car and carried out a series of searches, which yielded the recovery of €1.74m in cash. But the rest of the haul has not yet been located. Four hostages were tied up and held captive overnight after an armed gang forced their way into a house at Badger's Hill in Kilteel, near the Dublin-Kildare border.

One of the hostages, who worked at the bank branch at College Green, was given a mobile phone and four plastic bags which he was told to fill with euro notes in denominations of €20, €50, €100 and €200.

He was ordered to drive to the bank with a photograph of the other three hostages being held at gunpoint to prove to his colleagues that their lives were in danger. Meanwhile, the three hostages -- including a six-year-old boy -- were taken to a derelict house in Ashbourne, Co Meath, and kept there for a couple of hours.


The bank official arrived at work at 7am and told his colleagues on duty that he was terrified about the safety of the hostages and they agreed to help him fill the bags.

Procedures were not followed and the gardai were not alerted about the kidnap. The officials carried out the gang's instructions to the letter and filled the plastic bags with large denominations.

The official was told to drive to the car park at Clontarf DART station, where he was ordered out of the car by a gang member, who then drove off with the cash.

Irish Independent

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