SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Swede held for dramatic 1995 German bank robbery

A 32-year-old Swede has been arrested on suspicions of having participated in the spectacular 1995 robbery of a bank in Berlin.

Swede held for dramatic 1995 German bank robbery

The robbers fled police through an underground tunnel.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the man in Germany for being an accomplice in the remarkable theft, which took place when he was only 19-years-old.

Thieves made off with the equivalent of 16.3 million Deutsch marks, ($12.4 million), 10 million Deutsch marks of which was never recovered.

“The man now arrested is suspected of having helped dig the tunnel,” said spokesperson Michael Grunwald with the public prosecutor’s office in Berlin.

During the afternoon of June 27th, 1995, four masked and armed men entered a bank branch in the Zehlendorf neighbourhood of southern Berlin.

They took 16 customers and employees hostage, laid out hand grenades in front of the door, and demanded 17 million Deutsch marks, a car, and a safe get away.

They later received 5.6 million marks, and managed to get the rest from within the bank by breaking open 207 of 400 bank vaults.

What police didn’t know at the time was that there were actually six robbers in the bank. Two more had entered through an underground tunnel.

The thieves then used the tunnel to escape.

When police stormed the bank they found only the entrance to the 170 metre long tunnel. It was later described in an investigation as “a masterpiece of construction”, and included electricity lines, lighting, and fans.

So far six men have been convicted for the bank robbery. Many of them have already served their sentences.

During the spring, the 32-year-old man, who has lived in Sweden for many years, came to the attention of German authorities. A European arrest warrant was issued instructing Swedish authorities to extradite the man to Germany.

A warrant for the man was issued on May 26th, he was arrested a few days later and is now being held by Swedish police.

Lead prosecutor Ulf Forsberg won’t comment more on the suspicions in Germany against the 32-year-old or as to why German police suspect him.

CRIME

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

Birgitte Bonnesen, a former CEO of Swedish bank Swedbank, has been acquitted of charges of fraud and sharing insider information.

Swedish court clears former Swedbank CEO of fraud charges

The ruling from the Stockholm District Court comes four years after the eruption of a money laundering scandal implicating the bank.

In 2019, Swedish public service broadcaster SVT alleged that at least 40 billion kronor (equivalent at the time to $4.4 billion) of suspicious and high-risk transactions had been channelled to Baltic countries, notably Estonia, from Swedbank accounts.

The revelations, which saw the bank’s share price crumble, rendered Bonnesen’s position untenable and she was fired.

Sweden’s financial regulator the following year fined the bank some 360 million euros and warned it to follow anti-money laundering laws.

Prosecutors later charged Bonnesen, accusing her of “intentionally or by aggravated negligence” providing false or misleading information about the steps the bank had taken to prevent and detect suspected money laundering.

Bonnesen, who risked two years in prison, denied all of the charges against her.

The court said that while some of the statements the former CEO made to media outlets had been “unclear and incomplete”, they did not amount to fraud.

“For criminal liability, it is not enough for someone to make a false statement or omit key information,” judge Malou Lindblom said, adding that any statement needed to be sufficient to influence recipients “in a certain direction”.

Bonnesen was also cleared of charges of revealing insider information by informing the bank’s main owners that the investigative documentary was coming.

The court said the former CEO had only revealed what she believed the documentary would cover, which was deemed too “imprecise” to be considered insider information.

SHOW COMMENTS