Helicopter heist causes cash flow concerns

While police continue to gather evidence, traders and store owners in the Stockholm area are concerned over a possible shortage of cash following the spectacular robbery of a cash depot south of the city.

Helicopter heist causes cash flow concerns

It remains unknown just how much cash may have been hoisted up into the waiting helicopter during the brazen Wednesday morning attack, which targeted a G4S cash depot in Västberga south of Stockholm.

The helicopter used in the heist was later found near a lake in Arninge north of Stockholm and police continue to search the area for clues.

As the investigation unfolds, however, business owners are raising concerns about a possible shortage of cash due to the robbery.

“The depot provides a large share of the local cash reserves,” Dick Malmlund of the Swedish Federation of Trade (Svensk Handel) told the TT news agency.

“If a facility like this is taken out of the game…we don’t have a large reserve capacity. No one can afford to make that happen these days.”

He fears that Wednesday’s daring attack on a Västberga cash depot may lead to a cash shortage in Stockholm’s local teller machines and stores.

”It’s a bit like stopping traffic on an entry road, all of Stockholm will be affected. This is the same thing,” he said.

The heist comes just days before Swedes across the country are set to be paid their monthly salaries.

While most salary payments are transmitted by wire, the once-a-month occurrence usually prompts a flurry of cash withdrawals by Swedes who mark their paydays with a weekend spending binge on consumer goods, entertainment, and restaurant meals.

As a result, there may have been more cash on hand on the depot than usual.

While no official details have been released regarded the amount of money that may have been at the depot at the time of the heist, crime expert Leif G W Persson told TT there may have been as much as 1 billion kronor ($146 million).

Malmlund was also critical of the apparent ease with which police helicopters were grounded as a part of the caper due to fake bombs being placed in the hangar.

“If we at the Trade Federation are to put measures in place to prevent these sorts of occurrences, its critical that police resources shouldn’t be taken out of the game so easily,” he said.

“We know that the robbers were using caltraps [a spiked weapon laid out to puncture car tyres], so police vehicles were out of the game in no time. So we really needed helicopters to support us.”

Stefan Wikman, the head of production at Loomis, a competitor with G4S in the field of cash flow management, confirms that the robbery may result in local cash shortages.

“Sure, there is a small risk. In certain cases there may be short-term problems with automatic teller machines and so forth,” he told TT.

Aside from the cash depot hit in Wednesday’s robbery, two others exist in Stockholm. The largest is managed by Loomis.

”We’re working full out now trying to manage the situation and to ensure that there won’t be any significant money shortages.”

According to Wikman, much depends upon the length of time that police barricades remain in place at G4S locations. He compared the current situation with the attempted robbery of Loomis that took place earlier in the spring:

”The greatest damage for us occurred during the time that police had blocked off the premises. But, naturally, we completely understand that they need to carry out thorough investigations,” he said.

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German police arrest fugitive twin over Dresden museum heist

German police said Tuesday they have arrested one of two fugitive twin brothers from the so-called Remmo clan wanted over their suspected role in snatching priceless jewels from a museum in the city of Dresden.

German police arrest fugitive twin over Dresden museum heist
Archive photo from April 2019 shows the Jewellery Room of the Green Vault. Photo: DPA

The 21-year-old suspect was detained in Berlin on Monday evening over what local media have dubbed one of the biggest museum heists in modern history, a spokesman for the police in the eastern city of Dresden said.

The twins had eluded German authorities when they carried out raids last month and arrested three members of the Remmo clan, a family of Arab origin notorious for its ties to organised crime.

Police then named them as 21-year-old Abdul Majed Remmo and Mohammed Remmo.

All five suspects are accused of “serious gang robbery and two counts of arson,” Dresden prosecutors said.

Police did not immediately name the arrested twin. His brother remains on the run.

The robbers launched their brazen raid lasting eight minutes on the Green Vault museum in Dresden's Royal Palace on November 25th, 2019.

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about the Dresden museum heist

Having caused a partial power cut and broken in through a window, they snatched priceless 18th-century jewellery and other valuables from the collection of the Saxon ruler August the Strong.

Items stolen included a sword whose hilt is encrusted with nine large and 770 smaller diamonds, and a shoulderpiece which contains the famous 49-carat Dresden white diamond, Dresden's Royal Palace said.

The Remmos were previously implicated in another stunning museum robbery in the heart of Berlin in which a 100-kilogramme gold coin was stolen.

Investigators last year targeted the family with the seizure of 77 properties worth a total of €9.3 million, charging that they were purchased with the proceeds of various crimes, including a 2014 bank robbery.

READ ALSO: €1 million gold coin stolen from iconic Berlin museum