Massive bank robbery in Belfast

In a, obviously, meticulously planned and executed robbery the, recently sold, Northern Bank headquarters in Belfast has been raided – estimates of the haul range between £20million and £30million making it one of the largest cash robberies ever. A, by now, familiar pattern in this is the prior targeting of the homes (and presumably families) of bank officials to force them to co-operate with the gang.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Given the scale of this operation and the meticulous planning involved, suspicion may focus on a joint fund raising operation beteween Slugger and Newshound.

  • peteb

    The taking hostage of the bank officials’ families tends to undermine attempts at levity on this subject, Pat.

  • smcgiff

    I agree, Peteb,

    He should have said, ‘Given the scale of this VISCIOUS operation and the meticulous planning involved, suspicion may focus on a joint fund raising operation between Slugger and Newshound.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Did this spate of bank robberies start before or after that major ‘Which?’ report into how NI bank customers are being ripped off?

  • Young Fogey

    They had a bit of inside help, obviously.

  • unionist_observer

    I blame the Danes, those damned plundering Vikings

  • Davros

    Hmmm – was this why the bearded one collapsed the talks ?

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Three cheers for Davros, cut to the chase immediately, it wuz the IRA wot did it.

  • Davros

    LOL — It’s what everybody is wondering- and as it was a successful heist it sure as hell wasn’t anything to do with the loyalists !

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Was it not the INLA that was blamed for a recent robbery? I dunno. I think the finger was being pointed at the PIRA for Makro though.

  • alex s

    What if in nine months its proved that the IRA were involved, in all probability the Assembly will be up and running with the DUPes having already promised stability and that they won’t seek to bring it down Trimble fashion, could be interesting?

  • Davros

    alex s- if that was so I suspect we would be in Adare country, with Gerry claiming they weren’t wearing their IRA hats.

    See these free-lancers !

  • alex s

    Davros, that Gerry’s excuse, what about Big Ian

  • Davros

    You been watching that Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas film, tough Guys ? Were there tracts left in the bank ? 😉

  • alex s

    Not that I know of, but with that amount of cash there will doubtless be a trail£££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££££trial

  • Young Fogey

    we would be in Adare country

    Adare or Adair, Davros? 😉

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    Davros,

    shouldn’t be too hard on loyalists, after all when British soldier Brian Nelson arranged the importation of arms from Sth Africa for the UDA,UVF and Ulster Resistance the deal was financed by a major heist on a bank in Portadown, it was a Northern Bank as well.
    Also weren’t senior figures from the UDA recently charged with a planning a hostage and robbery heist on an Antrim Rd bank.

  • twinkilcooleywithcoxsdemesne

    Looks like the well has already started to run dry –

    http://www.kcshop.com/foreigncurrency/Ireland-NorthernCurrency.htm

  • maca

    This dastardly deed bears all the hall marks of the Dark Spectre!

  • Davros

    Also weren’t senior figures from the UDA recently charged with a planning a hostage and robbery heist on an Antrim Rd bank.

    I don’t think any of them were charged with UDA membership Pat… That’s what spared Murphy’s blushes over the supposed UDA cessation. Plus – they were caught!

    I’m still dubious about this Ulster Resistance Lark. If it’s true send PR and IP to X ray

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    “I don’t think any of them were charged with UDA membership Pat…”

    Davros, good to see unionists applying the letter of the law. Funny it wasn’t applied over the Stormont accused who weren’t charged with IRA membership but every unionist with a mouth proclaimed it an IRA job.
    The same warped criteria applied to Castlereagh and no one was even charged. Hope this isn’t a case of do as I say not as I do.

  • Davros

    Perish the thought pat – I was taking the P 😉

    and don’t forget those capital U’s!

  • mickhall

    No, it could not be para-military’s, Andy Tyrie told us years ago there is no redundancy pay in that type of work.

  • Harris

    Davros

    Sure, you’d have us all believing that the provos needed one last heist before the assembly gets up and running. All one needs to do is, have a conversation with the previous bank president, in order to get some answers.

  • James

    Congratulations of a sort, Sluggiewuggies. The heist just made CNN.

  • James

    BTW, I’m with McLarnon on this one. Fealty and Fay were definitely in on it.

    Book ’em Dano.

  • Pat Mc Larnon

    James,

    watch out or you’ll be chastised by Pete.

  • Davros

    Bollix- I just realised- I used a Northern Bank ATM
    yesterday. Will it be safe to use their notes or will I end up meeting the rubber hoses in Castlereagh ?

    Ní craic ar bith é a bheith i do thurcaí um Nollag !

  • peteb

    Given the general disregard of consideration, by the majority of posters, of the vicious reality of hostage-taking and the threats that it involves, Pat.. my attempts to introduce that into this thread would seem to have fallen on deaf ears already.

  • DCB

    The fact that they have, so far, gotten away with it does sugget the provos. The empahsis on “criminal gangs with links to” could well suggest former members looking for their wee place in Donegal.

    Though it could be the UDA, I’m sure they thought, well if they won’t let us deal drugs what do they expect. The Brinks Matt robery set up a lot of London’s East End criminal fraternity in legit/semi-legit business (allegedly building large parts of Canary Wharf)

    It may not be as clever as it first appears. It looks like the notes were fresh and not used, so the seriel no’s will be at hand. Thus laundering £30m is going to be very, very hard – arguably harder than pinching it in the first place.

    It could end up being a bit of an albatros for whoever has stolen them, a little like Martin Cahell’s theft of the Beit paintings.

  • James

    “will I end up meeting the rubber hoses in Castlereagh ?”

    I donno. Do they have handcuffs for gargoyles?

  • Davros

    Speaking of which…not me!

  • mickhall

    DCB
    Whilst a number of east end criminals ended up with wealth from this robbery, they were not necessary those who carried out the robbery. A number of other east end hoods ended up doing very long stretches or dead.

    Another interesting point I heard yesterday was that these were NI bank notes, thus making them all the more difficult to launder. Is this true?

  • Henry94

    mickhall

    If they were then a solution might be to swap NI notes for British notes up to a deadline under which the old NI notes would no longer be legal tender.

    Anyone turning up to swap a large amount they couldn’t account for would be suspect.

  • DCB

    MH

    That’s right the actual robbers I think sold the gold on for not a great amount. The insurance company actually recovered the full nominal £26m that was stolen. But they only got it 10/15 years after it was pinched by which time it had worked itself many times over for it’s launders. The funds were recovered in the civil courts and while the actual robbers did some time, the Kenneth Noyes did not (or at least not for Brinks Mat)

    Being NI bank notes makes it infinatly more difficult to clear. Dollars and euros are easy because they can be changed almost anywhere in the world. What did they find Sadaam Hussin with when he was cuaght – I huge sack of greenbacks

    Sterling is not great, but think about the grief you will have getting rid of £50 of our notes over in England.

    They are now saying that £14m is in new notes. This means that the bank will have the serial no.

    There will be institutions in some of the more unsavoury tax havens who may take the funds and get them into the banking system. But they will know where the money has come from and will demand a very heavy cut.

    It’s entirely possible that they may only get 10% of face value. In other words all that trouble and could have made as much if not more from good conterfits. £2m divided by 20 is £100k each.

  • Davros

    Davros wants TB to announce that we are joining the Euro and that people have to exchange their notes. That would sort them !

  • Young Fogey

    It may not be as clever as it first appears.

    Must have been Loyalists, then. Maybe Johnny is looking for a wee nest egg for retirement in Bolton.

  • DCB

    YF – I honestly have no idea, initially I thought loyalists because the UDA tried to pull something similar a few weeks back. Then I caught myself on and realised that the fact that they got away suggests that its not a “prod job”.

    So which sort of republican is it. I can’t believe that the provos would have pulled off something as big as this, think of the publicity, this is big time news round the world. They new that they were going to pinch about £20m because of the size of the van they bought. It could be a free-lance job though.

    It could be the INLA, we’ll know if they start a feud again.

    The dissidents are on the incompatence league on a par with Ulsters finest sons.

    So it’s possible that we are looking at Honest Decent Bank Robbers. In which case I would feel sorry for them, not only will they have the PSNI after them but no doubt their respective “comminity respresentives” will be after their cut too.