STOCKHOLM—Ten people have been charged for participating in one of the most audacious crimes in Swedish history in which robbers used a helicopter to raid a cash depot. Prosecutor Leif Görts announced the arrests at a press conference on Monday. The 10 facing charges are between 23 and 38 years old and several of them have previous felony convictions and links to organized crime.
The alleged leader was arrested in January in the Dominican Republic and was previously convicted for participating in another dramatic heist in 2000, where priceless paintings by artists including Renoir and Rembrandt were stolen. The suspected helicopter pilot has been involved in several big Swedish TV productions, according to Swedish newspaper Expressen reports.
Five individuals were charged with the actual robbery and five with aiding and abetting. All deny any involvement in the crime. The trial is set to begin Aug. 2.
On Sept. 23, 2009, masked and heavily armed robbers landed in a stolen helicopter on the roof of a cash depot belonging to the Swedish branch of international security company G4S on the outskirts of Stockholm. By blasting and breaking their way in, they entered the building from the roof and quickly escaped in the helicopter with about $5.2 million in cash.
A string of coordinated sabotages and decoy operations, involving among other things a fake traffic accident and a bomb scare that kept all police helicopters on the ground, helped the robbers evade the police. In the following months, Swedish police chased down several people.
The money and several suspects are still missing.
Swedish police say they had information beforehand from the Serbian police that a robbery was being planned, but were still caught unawares, since the robbery happened much later than anticipated.
Superintendent Arne Andersson of the Stockholm police said at the press conference following the official filing of the charges that the robbery was extremely sophisticated and well planned, reported Swedish Public Service Radio. Andersson described the crime as a kind of consultant activity where the best suited people were hand-picked and brought together.