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The E-Sylum:  Volume 7, Number 52, December 26, 2004, Article 16

BANK HEIST COULD TRIGGER IRISH BANKNOTE WITHDRAWL

  A December 24, 2004 story in the London Times notes 
  that Britain's largest bank robbery could lead to 
  the withdrawal of an entire issue of Northern 
  Ireland currency.

  "The home of leading Belfast Republican Eddie Copeland 
  was being searched today by police in the hunt to recover 
  22 million stolen in Britain's biggest bank raid."

  "The robbers held the families of two bank workers 
  hostage for 24 hours, forcing the two staff to help them
  carry out the heist at the headquarters of the Northern 
  Bank in Belfast on Monday night. 22 million was taken, 
  12 million of it in distinctive Northern Ireland 
  banknotes.

  Today the Northern Bank revealed that it is considering
  a plan to withdraw from circulation every single 
  banknote that it has issued. The move would make much 
  of the stolen money impossible to spend, although it 
  would also cause enormous problems for legitimate 
  savers."

  "On Sunday night, some of the robbers posed as police 
  officers breaking news of the death of a relative to 
  gain entrance to the two bankers' houses.

  The families of Chris Warde, 23, and his supervisor, 
  Kevin McMullan, 30, were held hostage as the pair 
  were ordered to report for work at midday on Monday, 
  where their jobs took them into the cash centre in 
  the basement of the bank in Donegall Square West.

  One of the bank workers was ordered to test the 
  security by walking out of the building with a holdall 
  containing 1 million. He was not spotted by security 
  staff, and passed the bag to one of the gangsters, 
  disguised in a hat and scarf, who was standing round
  the corner in Upper Queen Street.

  Over the next two hours, huge quantities of banknotes 
  were loaded into crates and boxes. On two occasions, 
  at around 7pm and around 8pm, the van, larger than a 
  Transit and with a distinctive tail-lift, called at 
  the bank's side entrance to collect them."

  To read the full story: Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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