63-year-old held over remote-control bank heist

A 63-year-old man has been remanded in custody by Uppsala District Court in connection with a hi-tech heist at the Knivsta branch of Swedbank, north of Stockholm, Dagens Nyheter reports.

The 63-year-old from Grödinge, a small community south west of Stockholm, is also suspected of planning a similar remote-control raid at a bank in Dalarna, as well as two further transactions at the Knivsta bank.

The court is set to decide on Friday whether or not to hold a further six suspects, all of whom are men ranging in age from 24 to 47.

The elaborate scam was thwarted last August by an employee at Swedbank’s Knivsta branch.

Surprised to suddenly see his computer cursor moving on its own, the bank official “discovered a cable connected to his computer linked to a remote control device fastened under his desk,” local police spokesman Christer Nordström told AFP.

The employee quickly pulled the plug, interrupting a transfer of several hundred million kronor, Nordström said.

The device, which police described as “sophisticated and requiring great (technical) skills,” had apparently been installed during a previous break-in, during which nothing had been stolen from the bank.

Nordström said seven suspects had so far been arrested in the case, which he said was the first of its kind in Sweden.

The youngest of the suspects, a 24-year-old from Borlänge in central Sweden, was previously employed at the Swedbank branch in his home town.

He was fired in autumn 2006 for cashing false cheques submitted to the bank by an acquaintance, Dala-Demokraten reports.