Burglaries & Biggest Bank Robbery: 7 Multimillion Bank Robberies in Crime History
7 Multimillion Bank Robberies in Crime History

7 Multimillion Bank Robberies in Crime History

Patrick Lynch - March 2, 2017

7 Multimillion Bank Robberies in Crime History
Digital image of what faced the thieves. Thuglifer

6 – Dar Es Salaam Bank Robbery in 2007 ($282 Million)

For a theft that resulted in the heist of approximately $282 million, the Dar Es Salaam incident in Baghdad, Iraq received relatively little media coverage. The thieves clearly used the prevailing chaos in the city to perpetuate the heist on July 11, 2007. At the time, even the local police and Iraqi Government couldn’t agree on the most basic details. Local police said two guards pulled off the robbery whereas the Interior Ministry suggested that three men were involved.

The morning after the theft, employees of the bank came to work only to find the doors unlocked, the vault wide open and the money has gone. There are a host of unanswered questions about the robbery, and to this day, no one has been arrested and none of the cash has been recovered. Why did the bank have so much cash on that day and why was it in U.S. Dollars rather than Iraqi Dinar?

It is likely that the men had the assistance of the local militias because there is no other way they could steal that amount of money and safely leave the city. To give you an idea of the utter carnage in the city of Baghdad at that time, a total of 18 people were murdered on the same day as the heist.

As the Nazis proved during World War II, it is much easier to steal huge amounts of money in wartime than in times of peace. Whoever carried out the Dar Es Salaam bank robbery took advantage of lax security and will probably never be caught.

7 Multimillion Bank Robberies in Crime History
Devastation after the robbery. Daily Mail

7 – Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company in 2015 (£200 Million+)

This was an exceptionally clever theft perpetrated by a gang of up to six men. It had shades of Ocean’s Eleven insofar as evidence of the crime wasn’t discovered for several days. On April 1, 2015, electrical cables beneath the pavement in Kingsway caught on fire which caused major problems in central London for several days. The police now believe the fire was started by the robbers.

The following day, six men descended onto the roof of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company, disabled the elevator shaft, and went down to the basement where they found safety deposit boxes filled with valuables. Then they disabled the security system and drilled into a concrete wall to gain access to the boxes. The men apparently worked all night, and after 11 hours, finally left with millions of pounds worth of jewelry. The gang returned a couple of days later and stole even more goods! The building was closed because it was an Easter Bank Holiday weekend, and although police at Scotland Yard received information regarding a burglar alarm being triggered, they didn’t announce that they knew of theft until April 7.

UK newspaper the Daily Mirror released CCTV footage to the public on April 10. By May 19, the Metropolitan Police Force announced the arrest of nine suspects. In the end, seven men were convicted of the robbery and received terms of 6-7 years apiece. The four ringleaders pleaded guilty and probably shocked police when they found the men ranged from 58-74 years of age. The four men had an enormous amount of criminal experience under their belts and proceeded to use a book called Forensics for Dummies to avoid leaving a DNA trail.

It later transpired that the gang benefited from a huge slice of luck during the heist. One of the thieves triggered a silent alarm and security guards were contacted at home. A call was made to Scotland Yard and officers should have been sent to the scene. However, there was a mix-up in the way the call was categorized, so the police were not dispatched. When one of the security officers arrived on the scene, he found that the main doors were secure with no other evidence of a break-in, so he classified it as a false alarm.

Police called in the Flying Squad, who quickly identified the suspects and made the arrests. The unfortunate Hatton Garden company went into liquidation in September 2015 because business dried up after the robbery.