Thieves get away with 9 million euros in France

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Thieves stole nine million euros in cash from the city of Lyon in southeastern France in an armed attack on an armored security vehicle, prosecutors said.The vehicle, belonging to the Swedish cash handling company Loomis, was attacked at around 9 a.m. on Friday by several armed individuals as it was leaving a branch of the Banque de France.

The Lyon robbery is believed to be the biggest heist in France since 2009, when Toni Musulin, a former Loomis employee, stole € 11.6 million from the Banque de France. Most of the money has been recovered.

No one was injured in Friday’s attack.

“The perpetrators managed to flee immediately after committing the act,” prosecutors told AFP news agency.

How did it happen?

Local reports said two vans blocked the armored vehicle, one in the front and one behind.

According to two colleagues from the attacked security team, there were repeated problems with the security vehicle locking system.

The vehicle’s safety code is supposed to be changed with each race, but it had a “permanent code” that saved time for thieves, colleagues who did not wish to be named said in comments to AFP.

“There is clearly a fault on the part of the company,” said a colleague, adding that the driver of the vehicle attacked was a former shooting instructor trained in “defensive driving”.

Loomis CEO Michel Tresch told the news agency that it was “a bold attack in the heart of downtown.”

“The most important thing is that the cash escorts are safe and sound. ”

The company’s union said the three employees were shocked and would see a psychologist on Monday.

Attacks on Loomis

Company vehicles have been attacked on other occasions over the years.

In 2017, 35 million euros of goods, including cash and diamonds, were stolen from one of its vehicles in Switzerland.

In 2016, thieves took off with 70 kilos of gold powder worth 2.5 million euros from the company near Lyon.

But the chief executive of the company said in comments to AFP that there were fewer physical attacks than in the 2000s.

“It is much easier to carry out attacks (on the Internet) via hackers, as opposed to attacking an armored vehicle,” Tresch said.

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