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Old 22nd Dec 2004, 14:09   #1
Wavid
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Default Big Crime

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/4114219.stm

Did any of your money get nicked, John?
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Old 22nd Dec 2004, 14:15   #2
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I gather a lot of it is in Northern Ireland notes, so it may be easier to detect the laundering.
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Old 22nd Dec 2004, 14:36   #3
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Yes, it seems that, at £20m, this is the biggest cash robbery ever in the UK (though, allowing for inflation, the £2.6m Great Train Robbery in 1963 probably surpasses it). But as gil suggests, how the hell are they going to use it? Money laundering regulations are tighter than ever these days, it would take a hell of a long time to spend in the shops (until Belfast gets its House of Fraser in 2007, that is...), and given that it's the devil's job trying to spend a Northern Ireland banknote even in England, I doubt very much if Colombian drugs cartels or Middle Eastern arms dealers would accept them as legal tender. (Some may be unaware that, for some bizarre reason, Northern Irish banks are allowed to issue their own banknotes, so we can go weeks without seeing the cricket scene from Pickwick Papers. Or was it David Copperfield? The only one that doesn't look pathetically amateurish is the reasonably cool Northern Bank fiver, which has its design in portrait rather than landscape orientation, and is made of plastic with clear holes in it.)



The other strange thing is that I had no idea, and nor I think did anyone else, that the Northern Bank HQ in Belfast (which I pass regularly, although its dated symphony-in-concrete facade makes me constantly expect to see David Banner walking out the door with his coat over his shoulder in the opening titles of the Incredible Hulk) was a central money storage centre. In this recent article, a bank PR person thinks (or says she thinks) it's an underground car park for senior officials. This suggests some internal knowledge, from past officials if not present.
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Old 22nd Dec 2004, 17:04   #4
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The BBC have been asking the same question that gil and I have.
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Old 22nd Dec 2004, 17:10   #5
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The whole thing is a Jim Thompson plot in the making.
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Old 24th Jan 2005, 15:44   #6
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Thompson didn't really do heist crime, did he?
I'd have thought it more Elmore Leonard.
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