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Large amount of UK heist cash recovered

Detectives were pleasantly surprised to find large amounts of stolen money in a van abandoned near the Channel Tunnel.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2006 19:42 IST
Vijay Dutt

Detectives on trail of the criminals who took £50 million from the cash depot in Kent were pleasantly surprised to find large amounts of stolen money in a van abandoned near the Channel Tunnel.

Acting on a tip from a member of the public, the police seized the white van parked in a car park of the Ashford International hotel near Ashford station from where Eurostar trains pass through.

The exact of amount of cash recovered was not known. According to official sources it was said to be £1 million but another media report said it was around £15 million. It said the heist gang panicked after finding that up to £15 million was in brand new notes and therefore dumped them.

Forensics officers, supported by armed police, were seen unloading two massive black polythene-wrapped packages from the van. They were so heavy that two burly officers struggled to load the two packages, which were 3ft x 3ft x 1ft high, into the back of an unmarked police car.

One witness said, "It was unbelievable. Two very beefy policemen struggled to lift these packages - they must have weighed about 150kg. It has got to contain millions. They were surrounded by armed cops - they weren't taking any chances."

But the discovery of the van there increased fears that the armed gang have fled the country. Police were investigating whether the raiders split up the money in the car park and transferred it into waiting vehicles.

There have indeed been rapid developments and it appears that police are closing in on the robbery gang. Detectives have recovered several getaway cars and published a picture of one of the raiders.

A woman was also arrested when she tried to open a building society account with a bundle of banknotes bound with tape marked with the name of the cash depot where the raid took place. A man and a woman arrested in London were questioned about the robbery.

First Published: Feb 25, 2006 19:42 IST