Northern Bank heist suspect charged

Dominic McEvoy, 23, of Kilcoo, Co Down, is the first person to be charged with the robbery. He was also accused of taking a husband and wife hostage and possessing a gun or imitation firearm during the heist last December in Belfast city centre. He will appear at Belfast magistrates' court this morning.

Mr McEvoy is accused of falsely imprisoning Kevin McMullan, a supervisor at the Northern Bank, and his wife Karen.

Police held Mr McEvoy at his Mullandra Park home on Tuesday as part of a planned operation that has led to five arrests so far. Another man, aged 25, has been freed without charge after being detained during searches in Kilcoo. Three other men are being questioned by police.

A senior republican has also been detained in Co Tyrone. Brian Arthurs, 40, was arrested in Dungannon, and a 43-year-old suspect was also held in Coalisland. Mr Arthurs, whose brother Declan was part of an IRA unit wiped out in an SAS ambush 18 years ago, is understood to be a member of Sinn Fein.

Police blame the IRA for the robbery. The IRA has denied this.

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