Bank raid van may be from Wales

The van, bottom left, is seen close to the bank

Police are investigating the possibility that the van used in the Northern Bank raid may have been stolen in Wales some weeks before the robbery.

It was reported on Thursday that a white box van similar to the one used by the gang had been stolen in Gwent.

A PSNI spokeswoman said it was one of "many" lines of enquiry.

The van used to carry off £26.5m from the bank's headquarters has not been found. Police have said they believe the IRA carried out the Belfast raid.

The van crossed the Irish border hours before the robbery, police said previously.

They said they were aware that the van crossed the border on the main Dublin to Belfast road about 1700 GMT on 20 December, the day of the robbery.

It was assumed by police that it took the main road into Belfast, where its movements have been tracked on CCTV footage, twice going to the back of the bank in Donegall Square to load up with cash.

The IRA has twice denied it was behind last month's robbery in Belfast but Chief Constable Hugh Orde's assessment has not changed.

Police have a list of suspected IRA figures they believe were involved, names which have been included in security briefings given to government.

'Report within days'

A body monitoring paramilitary activity will meet next week to decide when it is going report on the robbery.

The Independent Monitoring Commission held a series of meetings last week, including one with the chief constable.

It is expected to endorse the police assessment north and south of the Irish border that the IRA carried out the robbery.

It is understood the commissioners will be in a position to report within days.

Irish Premier Bertie Ahern has said that garda intelligence suggests the IRA was indeed responsible. The monitoring commission will meet Mr Ahern on Monday.

Earlier this week, Mr Ahern held his first face-to-face meeting with Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams since the chief constable's assessment.

Mr Adams is due to hold talks with Prime Minister Tony Blair at his country residence at Chequers on Friday.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?