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Armed Robbers Steal €10 Million from Austrian Airlines Plane As its Preparing to Takeoff

Armed Robbers Steal €10 Million from Austrian Airlines Plane As its Preparing to Takeoff

Armed Robbers Steal €10 Million from Austrian Airlines Plane As its Preparing to Takeoff

Is this for real?  Scenes reminiscent of a Hollywood heist movie unfolded today at Tirana International Airport in Albania when armed robbers broke onto the airfield and held up an Austrian Airlines plane as it was preparing to takeoff.  Local media reports claim the robbers managed to break open one of cargo hold doors and steal around €10 million in cash.

Austrian Airlines flight OS848 operated by an Airbus A320 was preparing to depart Tirana for the roughly 1.15-hour flight to Vienna this afternoon when it was stopped on the runway by armed robbers yielding AK47 machine guns according to local reporter Vincent Triest.

Citing a police source, Triest says one of the robbers was killed during a shootout with law enforcement at the airport.  The other robbers are said to still be on the run and a burned out car believed to be used in the gangs was found close to the airport.

This sure sounds like some sort of inside job.  If in fact, the robbers have managed to escape with €10 million then they would have to have known about the fact that Austrian had such a consignment planned well in advance.

Thankfully, no one on the plane was injured but the flight was delayed for nearly three hours as the investigation got underway.  Austrian Airlines says it will no longer transport valuables between Tirana and Vienna.

A spokesperson for Austrian Airlines confirmed that there had been a theft of “valuable cargo” while passengers were on the plane, telling us: “According to information from the authorities during the loading process of today’s flight OS 848 from Tirana to Vienna, a theft of valuable cargo from the cargo hold took place shortly after the boarding of the passengers.”

“Neither crew nor passengers noticed the incident, no passengers or employees were injured. As an immediate measure, no more valuable freight will be transported on the route from now on. According to our information, Tirana Airport immediately increased its security measures. After the incident, the aircraft was inspected by the local authorities in accordance with the regulations and was able to take off to Vienna with a delay of 2 hours 40 minutes.”

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