Millions stolen in Ireland 'tiger kidnapping'

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The Independent Online

Police say a Bank of Ireland employee has stolen millions of euros from his own branch after a gang took his family hostage and threatened to kill them unless he cooperated.

So-called "tiger kidnappings" — when gangs seize families of bank officials — are common in Ireland, but usually involve much smaller cash losses. Police say the banker's family was freed uninjured today after he delivered the money.

Police have refused to confirm the precise sum stolen. Irish media are putting it at €7 million ($9 million).

If confirmed, this would be the second-biggest tiger kidnapping in Ireland. In 2004, two Northern Bank employees were forced to help a gang take more than 26 million pounds ($50 million) from the bank's central Belfast vault.