Thieves snatch 9 million euros in France

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Thieves fled on Friday with nine million euros in cash in the city of Lyon in south-eastern France in an armed attack on an armored security vehicle, prosecutors said.The theft is believed to be the largest theft of money of its kind in France since notorious thief Toni Musulin succeeded in 2009 with € 11.6 million ($ 13.8 million), most of which have were subsequently recovered.

The vehicle was attacked around 9:00 a.m. local time (07:00 GMT) by several armed individuals as it left a branch of the Banque de France in Lyon.

No one was injured in the attack on the vehicle belonging to security firm Loomis “but the losses amount to nine million euros (around $ 10.7 million)”, prosecutors said in a statement. to AFP.

“The perpetrators managed to flee immediately after committing the act. ”

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

The thieves threatened the driver, took the money and fled in two vehicles that were later found on fire.

“It was a bold attack in the heart of the city,” Loomis CEO Michel Tresch told AFP.

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

The three employees are extremely shocked, Loomis trade unionist Kader Bengueche said, adding that they would see a psychologist on Monday.

According to two colleagues of the attacked security team – two men and a woman – there have been repeated problems with the locking system of the security vehicles.

While the safety code is supposed to be changed with every race, the attacked vehicle had a “permanent code” that saved thieves time, added colleagues who asked not to be named.

“There is clearly a fault on the part of the company,” one of them told AFP, stressing that the driver of the vehicle attacked was a former shooting instructor trained in “defensive driving”.

An investigation was quickly opened by the police and regional specialists.

The Swedish cash handling company Loomis has come under attack on several occasions over the years.

In May 2017, 35 million euros ($ 41 million) of goods – cash, diamonds and gold bars – were stolen from one of its vehicles in Switzerland.

And in December 2016, thieves stole 70 kilograms of gold dust worth 2.5 million euros ($ 2.9 million) from the same company near Lyon.

In March of this year, another notorious French thief, Redoine Faid, was sentenced on appeal to 28 years in prison for an explosive attack on a Loomis van in the northern city of Calais in 2011.

But Loomis chief executive Tresch told AFP that compared to the 2000s, there are now fewer physical attacks.

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

“It’s not the same exhibition. ”

In March of this year, another notorious French thief, Redoine Faid, was sentenced on appeal to 28 years in prison for an explosive attack on a Loomis van in the northern city of Calais in 2011.

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