SLICK $5M HEIST: Bandits snatch FCB money at airport

December 06, 2017 –

A slick and brazen heist at the docking area of the Piarco International Airport yesterday resulted in bandits making off with $5 million dollars belonging to the First Citizen’s Bank. The money was intended to be transferred to the bank’s Tobago branches.

The incident happened just before noon when four masked men, heavily armed and dressed in camouflage outfits, slipped into the restricted area.

By the time police were able to respond, the crooks were long gone. The Toyota Hilux van used by the bandits was found abandoned in a Housing Development Corporation development at Oropune Gardens. There has been no sign of the men or the money.

The bandits harmed no-one, but managed to carry out the crime within an hour. Investigators are not ruling out the possibility that they may have been assisted by someone from within either the airport or the security companies tasked with guarding the money.

A source told Newsday, just before 11.25 am yesterday an Amalgamated Security vehicle transported the cash to the cargo area of the airport in carrier containers. The cash was handed over to Caribbean Airlines security officers for transfer to Tobago. None of the security personnel were armed since firearms are prohibited in that section of the airport.

Newsday was told Caribbean Airlines security officers carried the money towards the plane in a baggage cart, but were turned back because the authorisation paperwork was outdated. The money was taken back to the docking area where the gunmen executed their plan. They ordered the security personnel to lie on the ground while they took the containers with the money and packed it into their van which was parked nearby. They then escaped.

Acting Snr Supt Ajith Persad, Acting ACP Radcliffe Boxhill and ASP Rawle Ramdeo with other officers responded to a report and went to the airport. They soon received information that the getaway van had been abandoned in a parking lot at the housing development.
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Couple held with $.2m cash
However, police sources stressed that, contrary to reports, there was no confirmation up to late yesterday that this money was part of the missing $5 million taken from Piarco.

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