Man charged in £26.5m robbery

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Sunday, November 6, 2005

Belfast — An Irish construction worker accused of a record breaking £26.5 million (US$45 million) bank robbery committed in December 2004 was formally charged in a court in Belfast on Friday. Dominic McEvoy was charged with possession of a firearm and false imprisonment in connection with the case.

On December 20, 2004, McEvoy allegedly held an assistant bank manager's family hostage while the manager and a colleague were forced to admit thieves to a branch of the Northern Bank in Belfast. The thieves then emptied the vault. Police have blamed the robbery on the IRA which has repeatedly denied any connection to the theft. Sinn Féin, a political party linked with the Provisional IRA, has protested the arrests, accusing police of targeting IRA sympathizers and supporters in their investigation.

The Northern Bank heist is one of the largest in Europe since the theft of more than US$65 million from a London bank in 1987.

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