Investigations continue into daring T'dad airport robbery

Thursday, December 07, 2017

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — Investigations are continuing into Wednesday's multimillion dollar robbery that took place at the Piarco International Airport.

The police said they have been questioning several people in connection with the incident that led to TT$5.5 million (One TT dollar=US$0.16 cents) being stolen as it was being transferred from a security vehicle to onto a plane.

The police said four men with high powered rifles and dressed in army fatigues struck shortly before midday at the cargo loading area.

On hearing of the robbery, officers of the Central Division conducted road blocks but were unable to apprehend the suspects.

The lawmen said it appeared the suspects had some knowledge of the security mechanisms in place for the cash cargo that was destined for First Citizens Bank (FCB) in Tobago.

A media release from the Airports Authority of T&T yesterday confirmed the robbery, adding officials were working with police to solve the crime.

First Citizens Group CEO Karen Darbasie said the incidences of crime appears to be on the rise, and has reached alarming levels.

“Too often now we are seeing what appears to be planned and organised criminal activity targeting businesses, including banks. This last incident seems to be no exception. This calls for greater vigilance on the part of businesses, the police and all stakeholders, and First Citizens is taking further steps to ensure the safety of our people, our customers and their assets under the circumstances and in this current environment,” she said.

She added that First Citizens officials are assisting police with their investigations.

This was the second high profile multimillion robbery targeting bank money in recent years. On November 27, 2013, a van was robbed of TT$17 million and US$150,000, representing money from several banks, as it was being transported along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway to the airport early that morning for a flight to Tobago.

During that attack, 59-year-old veteran security officer Bert Clarke was murdered. His death and the robbery remain unsolved to date.

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