Amsterdam armored truck heist organized abroad: Prosecutor
The violent robbery on a valuables transport in Amsterdam-Noord on 19 May was organized from abroad. According to the Public Prosecution Service, this was done "thoroughly and professionally" and there was international cooperation. The suspects left Paris in the period prior to the robbery and prepared themselves for their criminal mission in an apartment in Belgium. Weapons, balaclavas, extra getaway cars and other items were also delivered there.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) outlined this on Wednesday at the first preliminary hearing against the six suspects who were arrested after the robbery. The suspects are of French and Belgian origin. Two of the six appeared in court on Wednesday; the rest chose to remain in jail.
The robbery took place at Schöne Edelmetaal on Meeuwenlaan. The robbers threatened people with firearms and a knife, and fired shots into the air outside the building. They tied up employees of the company with cable ties.
The total loot from the robbery amounted to more than 14.5 million euros, according to the Public Prosecution Service. More than 4 million euros of this has not yet been recovered, the OM said. That part was likely taken by the occupants of one of the getaway cars, an Audi that was set on fire near Diemen. The occupants escaped. The judiciary is still fully investigating this, in collaboration with the French and Belgian authorities.
The robbery resulted in a wild chase from Amsterdam to Broek in Waterland. A 47-year-old robber was killed in a shootout with the police in a meadow there. Thirty police officers filed charges of, among other things, threats and attempted manslaughter. Others, including residents of Broek in Waterland, also filed charges.
The fact that the suspects were arrested is due to "heroic police action", according to the Public Prosecution Service. Many officers were "scared to death" because they said shots were frequently fired at them. The shooting at the police already started in Amsterdam-Noord, when the suspects fled in two fast cars.
On the A10 ring road, one of those cars aimed shots at the pursuing police. After he had been shot in the leg, one of the suspects shouted that he was wearing a bomb belt and that he would blow himself up when he was arrested in Broek in Waterland. An officer threw himself onto the man, only to find that there was no bomb.
The next preliminary hearing is on 15 November.
Reporting by ANP.