Premises searched in raid inquiry

A number of homes of republicans are being raided by police investigating the robbery of £22m from a Belfast bank, Sinn Fein has said.

Police said a number of residential and commercial premises in the west and north of the city were searched.

Monday's raid is thought to have been one of the biggest UK cash robberies.

The Northern Bank is considering recalling all its bank notes to prevent the stolen cash being filtered into the economy.

Detectives have issued the serial numbers of 150,000 Northern Bank £10 notes.

The IRA has denied involvement in the robbery. On Thursday, a senior republican dismissed "any suggestion or allegation that we were involved".

They have identified two criminal gangs and three paramilitary factions that they believe are capable of carrying out the robbery.

Meanwhile, the PSNI has denied it botched the operation over the robbery from the bank's Belfast headquarters.

It has emerged police missed the robbers by a matter of minutes.

Officers went to the area after reports of suspicious activity near the Northern Bank headquarters on the night of the raid.

The serial numbers of the stolen notes run from BC8500001 to BC8550000, BC9100001 to BC9150000 and BC9350001 to BC9400000.

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