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Helicopter heist causes cash flow concerns

TT/Charlotte Webb · 23 Sep 2009, 11:37

Published: 23 Sep 2009 11:37 GMT+02:00

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It remains unknown just how much cash may have been hoisted up into the waiting helicopter during the brazen Wednesday morning attack, which targeted a G4S cash depot in Västberga south of Stockholm.

The helicopter used in the heist was later found near a lake in Arninge north of Stockholm and police continue to search the area for clues.

As the investigation unfolds, however, business owners are raising concerns about a possible shortage of cash due to the robbery.

"The depot provides a large share of the local cash reserves," Dick Malmlund of the Swedish Federation of Trade (Svensk Handel) told the TT news agency.

"If a facility like this is taken out of the game...we don't have a large reserve capacity. No one can afford to make that happen these days."

He fears that Wednesday's daring attack on a Västberga cash depot may lead to a cash shortage in Stockholm's local teller machines and stores.

”It's a bit like stopping traffic on an entry road, all of Stockholm will be affected. This is the same thing,” he said.

The heist comes just days before Swedes across the country are set to be paid their monthly salaries.

While most salary payments are transmitted by wire, the once-a-month occurrence usually prompts a flurry of cash withdrawals by Swedes who mark their paydays with a weekend spending binge on consumer goods, entertainment, and restaurant meals.

As a result, there may have been more cash on hand on the depot than usual.

While no official details have been released regarded the amount of money that may have been at the depot at the time of the heist, crime expert Leif G W Persson told TT there may have been as much as 1 billion kronor ($146 million).

Malmlund was also critical of the apparent ease with which police helicopters were grounded as a part of the caper due to fake bombs being placed in the hangar.

“If we at the Trade Federation are to put measures in place to prevent these sorts of occurrences, its critical that police resources shouldn't be taken out of the game so easily,” he said.

“We know that the robbers were using caltraps [a spiked weapon laid out to puncture car tyres], so police vehicles were out of the game in no time. So we really needed helicopters to support us.”

Stefan Wikman, the head of production at Loomis, a competitor with G4S in the field of cash flow management, confirms that the robbery may result in local cash shortages.

“Sure, there is a small risk. In certain cases there may be short-term problems with automatic teller machines and so forth,” he told TT.

Story continues below…

Aside from the cash depot hit in Wednesday's robbery, two others exist in Stockholm. The largest is managed by Loomis.

”We're working full out now trying to manage the situation and to ensure that there won't be any significant money shortages.”

According to Wikman, much depends upon the length of time that police barricades remain in place at G4S locations. He compared the current situation with the attempted robbery of Loomis that took place earlier in the spring:

”The greatest damage for us occurred during the time that police had blocked off the premises. But, naturally, we completely understand that they need to carry out thorough investigations,” he said.

TT/Charlotte Webb (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:19 September 23, 2009 by jonathanjames61
now we have 007 now in Sweden
13:34 September 23, 2009 by trinaican
its surreal
13:44 September 23, 2009 by benomax
This is serious, does that mean there is no security at all, where are all the strategic cameras. Are we safe?
14:09 September 23, 2009 by Rick Methven
Helicopter pictured is a Bell 206B owned by Roslagens Helikopterflyg in Norrtälje

The maximum load is 674 kg - 1 pilot and 4 passengers plus baggage. If there where 4 robbers plus the pilot then the max weight of money they could have taken would be about 200 KG.

Can Anybody work out the value of 200kg of 500 kronor notes?
14:35 September 23, 2009 by Steeve
Rick: If they weigh approximately the same as (any) dollar bill, 1 gram, 200 kg is 200,000 bills. If 500 kr denominations, it yields 100 million kronor.
14:38 September 23, 2009 by xenu
Reminds me of "Italian Job"
14:42 September 23, 2009 by boby
Swedish police…. What a sad joke. Its actually unbelievable that a group of robbers manage to paralyze the police force so easily.

The Police in Sweden are good at picking on the normal hard working people. They focus on what is easy to enforce, giving speeding and parking tickets. But in any other way they fail big time. Sweden is a safe haven for 'heavy' criminals.
15:35 September 23, 2009 by Rick Methven
Right on Steeve, I just weighed acouple of 500Kr notes - 2 grams so they could of got away with up to 100 million Kronor - about $14.7 million today. I think the police should start looking in the Cayman islands at new residents!!
16:16 September 23, 2009 by eZee.se
Fantastic planning and execution!

What ever your views, gotto admire them for that.

Personally, i hope they get away with it ;)
17:15 September 23, 2009 by Eurostan
100 million sek for 200 kgs approximately. and robbers deserve that money because they taught the police and security companies a good lesson and more valuable lesson than 100 million sek
19:44 September 23, 2009 by Texrusso
How I wish this robbers can pull similar stunt in Finland to teach those RACIST FINNISH Police a lesson, who spend their whole life and days chassing cheap immigration cases instead the main problems the befalls society.
21:33 September 23, 2009 by Topsa
Texrusso: They DO have tried Sweden-like robberies in Finland in recent past and failed miserably. How come you came up with the idea that finnish police is rasist? I remember many racial cases involving swedish police forces.
08:06 September 24, 2009 by ropegun247
If 100 M Kr was the booty, divided 5 ways, 1 pilot + 4 robbers? That's hardly worth the time. That's about $300 US dollars a piece.

It makes me wonder if all they were trying to do was to ridicule the cops?

Film wise, it's most similar to Ocean's 13 where they steal the diamonds of the chandelier through the glass roof by helicopter.
09:07 September 24, 2009 by izbz
Ropegun, very neat calculation! By the way have you check the exchange rate lately? Or did you presume that the depot is fill with Vietnam Dong or Indonesian Ruppiah? Please do some reserch before embaressing yourself
10:05 September 24, 2009 by John_berg
fantastic planning, making the whole police paralyzed. . I guess this would have given the police a good lesson that there are other good things to do than to have FIKA breaks.. i agree with benomax where were the security cameras and if the robbers sabotaged one police air station was there no other nearby which could have been called for help!!
11:23 September 24, 2009 by Nemesis
This robbbery remonds me of a robbery in Belfast some years ago by the IRA. The robbers in that case had to come back with a lorry to load the cash, there was so much of it. They did this in the city centre, right under the noses of the authorities.

It is definately coming close to the same level of expertise as seen in the biggest robberies in Ireland, where there was significantly more security forces who were a lot better trained and more effective on the job. One Northern Ireland police officer would probably be more effective than the entire Stockholm police.

There really needs to be a hard look taken at the police in Sweden. Its entire structure, funding, control and oversight need to be changed, before even getting to recruitment and training changes.

A suggestion.

Get all the officers from An Garda Siochana Riot Squad in the Republic of Ireland, combined with ex-RUC special branch and the Police Service of Northern Ireland riot squad on secondement to Sweden for a year. Have the Israeli IDF train them to be more subtle. Then put them under direct control of a member of the Donegal An Garda Siochana, to patrol troble hotspots which would quickly become very civilised and to hunt down and destroy organised crime.

I think that might be a start to cleaning up Sweden's law and order problem.
10:27 September 25, 2009 by xrrkrrkx
"crime expert Leif G W Persson" must be an a$$.

if you do the math for the type of helicopter - Bell Jet Ranger 206 (B)

(max take off weight is 1451 kg) - 777 (empty weight) = 674 kg

**a typical bill 500 or 1000 SEK weights about 2 grams( i used 2)**

**NOTE-- calculation with NO fuel in Heli**

heli with 3 pass. 1 pilot, avg weight 70 kg, (280 kg) = left over weight availability of = 394 kg = 197,000 bills

= 98,500,000 in 500 SEK bills = 197,000,000 in 1000 SEK bills

heli with 4 pass. 1 pilot, avg weight 70 kg (350 kg) = left over weight availability of = 324 kg = 162,000 bills = 81,000,000 in 500 SEK bills = 162,000,000 in 1000 SEK bills

so by my calculations (which, admittedly, could be wrong) they could have only gotten away with just shy of 200,000,000 in the BEST CASE SCENARIO (i.e. no fuel, nothing else in heli,avg weight people, no tools, bags, clothing [oh yeah, nake robbers])
13:55 September 25, 2009 by Rick Methven
Bell 206B

Max takeoff weight 1519kg (with STC)

Empty weight 777kg

Likely fuel 100kg ( heli would normally tank before a regular flight - do not think they would have refuelled any way 100kg of fuel is good for 270km range

1 pilot 80 kg

2 thieves 160kg ( eye witness said 2 guys got out of heli)

Max load of cash +/-400kg

This equates to 400,000 bills total load if all where 500kr bills would mean 200 million kronor

BUT 400 kg is a hell of a lot for 2 guys to lift through the skylight . a figure of 41 million has been mentioned in the press which means 82,000 500kr bills= 82 kg which they should have been able to handle
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