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Bank man held over €7.6m BoI tiger raid

A YOUNG bank official has been arrested in connection with the largest bank heist in the State's history.

Almost a year after the Herald first revealed that gardai suspected inside involvement in the massive €7.6m raid on a Dublin branch of Bank of Ireland, detectives swooped on a young man.

The bank employee was taken into custody by gardai yesterday morning.

It follows an intensive investigation that has been ongoing since the tiger-kidnapping and robbery on February 27 last.

The robbery was one of the most high-profile ever, not just because of the huge amount of cash stolen but also because of the viciousness of the raiders and the abandonment of security protocols at the bank.



GUNPOINT

A series of security procedures were ignored during the raid, causing huge concern for senior gardai and the Department of Justice. Gardai believe that a six-man gang was behind the raid, but are investigating the likelihood that they were working off inside information.

The young man arrested yesterday is being held at a garda station in the midlands under section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act. He can be held for up to three days before being charged or released.

The gang targeted a low-ranking bank official at the home of his girlfriend in Kilteel, Co Kildare. The bank worker, his girlfriend, her mother and a five-year-old boy were held at gunpoint overnight.

The older woman was hit over the head with a vase by one of the thugs before they forced the bank employee to drive his car to the Bank of Ireland on College Green in time for the 7am opening of the vaults.

At 5.30am the two women and the boy here tied up, bundled into a van and driven to a spot near Ashbourne, were they remained for several hours before breaking free.

The BOI staff member had been given a mobile phone with a picture of the family being terrorised which he was ordered to show colleagues -- who then helped him pack plastic bags with more than €7m.

In an attempt to block garda efforts to collect forensic evidence, they used industrial strength cleaner to scrub down the house. About €1m was later recovered by gardai during a series of searches.

kdoyle@herald.ie