Helicopter heist suspects – who they are

Here's a look at the six men currently being held on suspicions of involvement in last week's spectacular helicopter robbery of a Västberga cash depot, according to Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

All six suspects deny the allegations.

< Male, 34-years-old: Dubbed ‘The TV Man’ by the Swedish media, he lives in a villa in the Roslagen archipelago with his wife and two young children. According to Metro newspaper, the man is widely recognized in Swedish media circles, having participated in several large television productions including ‘Expedition Robinson’, ‘Idol’ and TV4’s ‘Kändisdjungeln’ (Celebrity Jungle). The 34-year old is a licensed helicopter pilot and is believed to have flown the helicopter during the robbery. He has a history of narcotics-related convictions (cocaine), as well as a weapons infraction. According to an unconfirmed report by Dagens Nyheter, the man has certain connections to security company G4S and may have been threatened into participating in the crime.

Male, 31-years-old: Referred to as ‘The Martial Artist’ in the press, he is a recognized martial arts competitor and was recently placed on the police’s Nova list of the 150 most criminally active individuals in Sweden. He was convicted in September last year on charges of assault for head-butting someone during a dispute over a parking place. His trainer has also been remanded in custody for his suspected participation in an Umeå robbery in May of this year.

Male, 29-years-old: Grew up south of Stockholm, Serbian background. Convicted for stealing an emerald worth around 100,000 kronor in the year 2000. According to Metro newspaper, the man is married with no children and a resident of Botkyrka in southern Stockholm.

Male, 38-years-old: Grew up south of Stockholm, Serbian background. No convictions. According to unconfirmed reports, the man belonged to a criminal youth network known as the ‘Fittja Boys’ who operated in Botkyrka during the 80’s and 90’s. The 38-year-old is acquainted with a suspected mafia boss from the former Yugoslavia, and with the 36-year-old man also suspected of participating in the helicopter robbery.

Male, 36-years-old: Raised in southern Stockholm, Turkish background. The man was also involved with the ‘Fittja Boys’, but has no prior convictions. He is also thought to be connected to the man suspected of masterminding the robbery.

Male, 21-years-old: Convicted of several crimes including theft, assault, obstructions of justice, illegal threats and narcotics crimes. Has been drug free during periods of his teenage life. Denies any involvement or knowledge of the crime.

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Helicopter heist trial closes in Stockholm

The court trial of the ten men charged with the dramatic helicopter heist on a cash depot in southern Stockholm last September wrapped up on Wednesday, a judge in the case confirmed.

Helicopter heist trial closes in Stockholm

“We finished today,” judge Catarina Barketorp of the Södertörn district court told AFP, adding the verdict would be rendered on October 7th.

The court in July charged 10 men on suspicion of aggravated theft and aggravated robbery in connection with the storming of a banknote storage facility in Västberga on September 23rd 2009.

A 31-year-old man charging with playing a role in the spectacular robbery on August 9th admitted to involvement. The other nine suspects all maintain their innocence.

A stolen helicopter landed on the roof of the G4S security firm depot and three armed men smashed their way into the building through the atrium window on the roof.

The robbers then deployed explosives to blast open a series of doors and make their way in to the depot’s cash reserves.

After 20 to 25 minutes, the men loaded up the helicopter and disappeared.

The first of the men and a section of the loot were deposited in the Draget district in the Norsborg suburb, before a second drop-off was made at Kaananbadet beach in the Bromma area.

The abandoned helicopter was later found in Skavlöten to the north of Stockholm.

Only 56,000 kronor ($7,793) of the reported 39 million kronor ($5.3 million dollars cash stolen by the thieves has since been recovered.