1 Mar 2009

Money recovered from Ireland's biggest bank robbery

9:49 am on 1 March 2009

Police in the Irish Republic have recovered about four million euros, believed to have come from the country's biggest-ever bank robbery, the BBC reports.

A gang was reported to have stolen seven million euros after forcing a bank official to get the money from his own branch while his partner, her mother and a five-year-old boy were held hostage.

The Garda (Irish police) identified a notorious organised crime gang from Dublin's north inner city as the prime suspects and made a dramatic series of swoops on Friday.

They arrested six men and a woman have been arrested for questioning in connection with the robbery.

A Garda spokesman said a substantial quantity of cash was seized from a house in Phibsboro in Dublin.

Forced to fill laundry bags with cash

BBC News reports that the gang forced their way into the home of Bank of Ireland employee Shane Travers in County Kildare southwest of Dublin on Thursday night.

His partner, Stephanie Smith, was beaten and the family bundled into a van and driven from the house.

The 24-year-old junior keyholder was forced to drive into work at the bank's central Dublin branch early on Friday. After filling laundry bags with brand-new notes he handed them over to the gang at a railway station.

The three hostages were then released in the Ashbourne area of County Meath, north of Dublin, at around 7am Friday.