Business Crime Robbery

MVR 15M stolen, 13 arrested in bank robbery

Over MVR 15 million were stolen in the bank robbery at G. A. Vilingili in the early hours of last Monday, reports a source to ‘Sun’.

Neither Maldives Police Service nor Bank of Maldives has yet provided an official confirmation on the exact amount of money stolen from the BML Branch at Vilingili. But ‘Sun’ is able to confirm through a credible source that over MVR 15 million were stolen in the robbery.

MPS has announced 13 arrests in connection with the case and a team from Police Intelligence is still operating at Vilingili to investigate the case.

A credible source close to the investigation reports that over MVR 15 million, an undermined amount of USD and some of the bank’s documents were stolen in the robbery.

The police arrested seven suspects on Monday, four more suspects on Tuesday and two more suspects – both from the same residence – last Wednesday night.

The police currently have 13 suspects in custody, some with criminal records.

One of the suspects arrested on Tuesday includes a foreigner who works at a workshop in Vilingili. Both the workshop and his residence were searched by the police. And four of the 13 suspects arrested belong to the same family.

Suspects involved in Vilingili bank robbery taken to Vilingili Magistrate Court for the remand hearing on November 22, 2018. (Sun Photo)

Five of the first suspects arrested were remanded to 15 days in police custody and two were remanded to seven days in police custody by the Vilingili Magistrate Court on Tuesday. And the four suspects arrested on Tuesday have been remanded to 10 days in custody and the two suspects arrested on Wednesday have been remanded to seven days in custody.

Pre-planned heist

Many of the locals who spoke to ‘Sun’ believe the robbers pre-planned the heist and even gathered information to ensure the success of the heist.

A local who spoke to ‘Sun’ said some of the robbers were caught on a CCTV camera installed at a private residence but were prepared with masks to disguise their faces and carrying other items needed for the robbery.

The robbers had used gas cutters to cut through the roof directly above the safe, flipped the CCTV cameras placed inside the bank, cut off electricity to the building, and used the gas cutter again to cut through the safe and steal the money stored inside the safe.

BML Vilingili Branch cordoned off after the bank robbery on November 19, 2018. (Sun Photo) 

One of the suspects has confessed to the crime and is cooperating with the police.

Many of the locals believe the robbers were privy to intimate information of the bank’s workings.

‘Sun’ has been informed the bank doesn’t have security guards but is monitored 24/7 via CCTV cameras.

Staff at the bank discovered the robbery and reported it to the police at 5:30 am on Monday.

One suspect fled out of the island

A credible source close to the investigation reports one of the suspects in the case – an employee of the MTCC site at Vilingili – fled the island on a speedboat on Monday morning.

It is not clear whether the suspect had escaped with some of the stolen money or not.

MVR 12 million recovered

Police recovered MVR 12 million of the stolen money during a raid on an abandoned house connected to one of the suspects on Tuesday.

Some of the money was stolen inside a washing machine, and the rest was hidden in the ceiling.

Police also recovered additional money during raids on two locations on the south district of Vilingili on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The amount of money recovered totals approximately MVR 12 million.

Full details are available at the link below:

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Source URL: Sun.mv

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