Saturday, July 14, 2007

Big bank heist or inside job?!?

RE: Hundreds of Millions Stolen from Baghdad Bank!

----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: § Lori §
Date: Jul 13, 2007 9:46 PM


From: RegimeChanger
Date: Jul 13, 2007 5:18 PM
http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/3543/Massive_Bank_Heist_in_Central_Baghdad

Washington/Baghdad - Three guards from a security firm made off with 282 million dollars in greenbacks from a Baghdad bank, the Iraqi government said Thursday.

A spokesman for the Iraqi Interior Ministry said in response to questions that it was believed the stolen sum was, indeed, 282 million dollars, “but investigations were ongoing into the exact extent of the amount stolen, and how such a large amount of cash could be taken.”

If the figure is confirmed, it is believed this would make it a world record bank heist.

Police were questioning the bank’s employees and those working for the security firm. The interior ministry said there was no trace of the three robbers.

The robbery, which took place at noon on Wednesday, occurred at the Dar Es Salaam bank in Baghdad, a private institution.

The three guards suddenly pulled weapons on the bank clerks and made off with the cash unchallenged.

Police and ministry officials said the stolen money was US dollars, and there were questions about why the bank had so much money on hand and how the thieves made it through the various checkpoints.

The bank is located on a busy commercial street in the centre of Baghdad.

It was not immediately known if there were any accomplices and what the finer details of the raid were.

In the first weeks after British and US troops toppled the regime of ex-president Saddam Hussein in April 2003, several national banks in Baghdad were robbed.

Gangs of criminals exploited the security vacuum and chaos of the post-invasion period, but US soldiers did manage to capture some bank robbers at the time.

London-based global bank HSBC, Europe’s largest bank, is a shareholder in the Dar Es Salaam investment bank.

News of the raid caused little surprise in Iraq where people are used to the deteriorating security situation, but many were shocked that there could be so much cash in one bank branch.

It was also unclear whether any of Iraq’s many militias or terrorist groups were involved in the robbery.

It has been frequently speculated in Baghdad that police deliberately turned a blind eye to mass abductions as they were in bed with criminal militias.

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