29 November 2005

Hostage worker arrested in bank raid probe


29/11/2005 - 10:00:05

An employee of the Northern Bank in Belfast was understood to have been arrested today by police investigating the £26.5m (€39m) robbery last Christmas.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland said two people, a man aged 24 and a woman of 22, were detained for questioning about the robbery.

It is understood the man is Chris Ward, an employee at the bank, who told police he had been held hostage by the robbery gang ahead of the heist.

Earlier this month, police charged three people in connection with the robbery but not the raid itself. A number of other people detained for questioning were released without charge.

The robbery at the Northern Bank headquarters in Donegall Square five days before Christmas was the biggest in UK banking history.

A small amount of cash recovered across the border in Co Cork is believed to have come from the robbery, which was blamed on the IRA.

However, the bank was forced to issue redesigned banknotes and withdraw the earlier issue in a bid to make the robbers haul worthless.

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