The Greatest Bank Robberies of All Time

Elaborate plans, fast getaways, ruthless guises, violence and more money than you can possibly fathom-the art (if it can be called that) of robbing a bank is for the truly daring. Most of these read like a film plot, but no, they are some of the greatest bank robberies of all time.

Northern Bank 2004

Thought to be one of the largest bank heists in UK history, the robbery of Northern Bank in Belfast, had not only financial but political consequences. Having dressed as policemen, the burglars barged their way into two of the Northern Bank officials’ homes and held their families as hostages whilst forcing the officials to let them into the bank. Making away with £26.5 million, Northern Bank were forced to replace and reissue notes with different colours and logos. It also caused political unrest as the finger was pointed at the IRA.

Knightsbridge Security Deposit 1987

Whilst not a bank, it is a classic case of an inside job. Over £40 million of goods were stolen from safety deposit boxes opposite Harrods in 1987, all with a little help from the managing director of the Centre Parvez Latif who was heavily in debt at the time, funny that. Italian-born Valerio Viccei carried out the robbery before fleeing the country, and seemingly not satisfied with the £40 million or perhaps overly sentimental, he returned to Britain to have his beloved Ferrari Testarossa shipped to South America, which was his downfall, as on returning he was then arrested. Someone should have packed properly.

Banco Central 2005

Yes it might be highly illegal but it’s hard not to be impressed by the dedication and creativity of the men responsible for the Banco Central heist in the Brazilian city of Fortaleza, it’s the sort of robbery you only imagine to happen in a film. Posing as a landscaping business, a group of men took up residence in a house opposite the bank and spent the next several months digging a 200 m tunnel right up under the bank before making away with almost $70 million.

Dar Es Salaam 2007

If we discount the time that Saddam Hussein ‘authorised’ the release of $1 billion from the Iraq central bank, then the award for the biggest bank heist goes to the bank guards who made off with $282 million US dollars from the Dar Es Salaam Bank in Baghdad back in 2007. Experts believe they had connections with local militia groups who let them make their getaway without being searched at the numerous check points across the city.

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