Tuesday 20 February 2018

Tiger raid hostages begin legal action against bank

Laura Noonan

Laura Noonan

A MOTHER and daughter held hostage during the Republic's biggest bank raid have launched a legal action against Bank of Ireland (BoI).

Stephanie Smith and her mother Joan feared for their lives when they were seized by armed raiders and held hostage overnight in February 2009.

Stephanie's five-year-old nephew was also held, as raiders forced her partner Shane Travers to take €7.5m from the BoI College Green vault where he worked.

It later emerged Mr Travers had only been able to get the money because he had shown colleagues pictures of raiders pointing a gun at his bound-and-gagged girlfriend.

Reports also claimed the gardai were not alerted to the incident until Mr Travers was on his way to drop off the cash at Clontarf Dart station.

Established protocol on tiger kidnappings requires banks to notify the gardai immediately.

Stephanie and her family escaped with only minor injuries but later told gardai they had feared for their lives.

Documents lodged with the courts show both Stephanie and her mother have filed lawsuits against BoI in the High Court.

The basis of their claim is unclear, and their solicitor Michael Smith declined to comment. BoI also declined to comment, but is expected to vigorously defend any claim.

During the raid, Stephanie had a vase smashed over her head before the raiders tied up the then 21-year-old, her mother and her nephew.

The trio were then driven from their house in Kilteel, Co Kildare, to a derelict house near Ashbourne, Co Meath, before they managed to free themselves.

Seven people were arrested in the immediate aftermath, and about €4m of the €7.5m was recovered.

Irish Independent

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