Robbers steal millions of euros from Albania’s main airport

Police confirmed a sum of money had been stolen but did not say how much. (Shutterstock)
Updated 10 April 2019
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Robbers steal millions of euros from Albania’s main airport

  • One of the robbers was shot dead in an exchange of fire with police about one kilometer from the airport
  • Albania-based foreign banks ship out hard currency via air through Rinas airport to Vienna, because the central bank does not accept their deposits of hard currency

TIRANA: Albanian police arrested four people and questioned 40 others late on Tuesday after armed robbers stole millions of euros from an Austria Airlines aeroplane in a deadly heist.
Armed men broke onto the runway of Tirana airport earlier Tuesday and stole the money due to be transported to a bank in Vienna, police said.
Foreign banks operating in Albania send their hard currency to Vienna because Albania’s central bank does not accept such deposits.
One of the gunmen was killed in an exchange of fire with the police.
The robbers entered the runway of the international Mother Teresa airport through a gate used by firefighters.
Police said three armed robbers dressed in military fatigues showed up and threatened the employees handling luggage, eventually stealing the money.
According to initial reports, the amount stolen was some 2.5 million euros ($2.8 million), but local media claim it could be a five times higher.
Austrian Airlines spokeswoman Tanja Gruber said the cash was being loaded when the robbery happened.
“Boarding had just taken place. There was never any danger for crew and passengers,” she said.
The plane’s departure was delayed by nearly three hours.
As a security measure, there will be no further cash transfers from Tirana to Vienna, she said.
Robbers have staged such heists at least two more times in last three years at the airport.
 


Court document: US mosque bombing suspect tried to escape

Updated 17 min 18 sec ago
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Court document: US mosque bombing suspect tried to escape

MINNEAPOLIS: An Illinois man who faces trial in the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque had tried to escape from custody earlier this year.
A court document filed by prosecutors says 48-year-old Michael Hari tried to flee when he was being transported to a Minnesota jail. The report gives no details about the escape attempt.
Prosecutors say Hari was later moved to another Minnesota jail, and was placed in administrative segregation after trying to disable a security device in his cell.
Hari is the leader of a white militia group in Clarence, Illinois, and alleged ringleader behind the attack at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota. No one was injured in the bombing, which one co-defendant says was meant to scare Muslims into leaving the US Hari has pleaded not guilty. His two co-defendants have pleaded guilty .
Hari also faces charges in Illinois.