Belfast Telegraph

Police find new footage of heist van

By Jonathan McCambridge
28 January 2005

Detectives have found CCTV footage of what they believe is the white van used in the Northern Bank robbery driving south towards the border, it can be revealed today.

The breakthrough came this week as detectives scoured hours of footage taken from a camera filming a roundabout at Sprucefield off the M1 motorway.

It is understood the footage was recorded shortly before 9pm on the day of the robbery and shows a white van driving through a roundabout near the retail centre.

It is believed the van, a Ford Transit box van with a rear-loading platform, may then have travelled further south in the direction of the border.

The van, used to carry off £26.5m from the bank's headquarters, has not been found.

This is the first sighting of the vehicle since police released grainy CCTV footage recorded immediately after the robbery showing the vehicle winding its way through traffic in Belfast.

One police source said the latest footage was recorded in the dark but detectives are confident it is the same vehicle.

The new footage means detectives will be able to establish a more accurate picture of the movements of the robbers in the hours following the robbery.

A team of detectives have spent thousands of hours viewing CCTV pictures from all over Northern Ireland.

They have made it their priority to try and identify the movements of the van after the robbery and what subsequently happened to it.

Police have also said that the possibility that the van was the same one which had been stolen several weeks before in Gwent, Wales, was a "strong line of inquiry".

Chief Constable Hugh Orde has publicly blamed the IRA for the robbery - an accusation which has twice been denied by the organisation.

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