Toronto, April 11: In a case of a stunning heist, armed robbers made off with €10 million in cash from an Austrian Airlines aircraft at Albania’s Tirana airport.
Masked robbers driving a white van slammed through an emergency exit gate on to the Tirana airport’s runway and stopped in front of an Austrian Airlines aircraft. They threatened the guards and other grounds-men in to opening the aircraft’s cargo doors which was loaded with cash that was being transported to Vienna. They then managed to steal almost the entire haul and made their escape. The entire robbery lasted barely lasted three or four minutes. Read: 7 Robbery Attempts Gone Wrong That Give Thieves Everywhere a Bad Name (Watch Videos)
But police had been called until then and there was an exchange of gunfire. One of the robbers was shot in the head and died. The robbers' van was later found burned out and one witness told Albanian TV that the remaining two robbers had escaped by bicycle.
Albanian media reported that the dead robber has been identified by his family as Admir Murataj. Deputy Prime Minister Erion Brace praised the police, saying they had "eliminated the leader" and were pursuing the rest of the gang, saying all the robbers had been identified.
Police say the robbery could not have been staged without insider information and are hence looking in to that angle. Read: Daylight Robbery! Man Coolly Walks Off With Million-Dollar Painting Right Under Visitors' Noses
Planes travelling from Albania to Austria are vulnerable to robberies as the former country’s central bank does accept cash deposits from its local banks. Hence banks have to ship currency to Vienna by plan which is then electronically remitted back to Albania. This is the third heist occurring around the airport but it is the biggest one. In 2016 robbers stole almost €1 million while another gang stole €3.2 million in 2017.