Armed Robbers Storm Austrian Airlines Plane in Albania, Make Off with €2.5 Million

By Anna Breuer on 10 April 2019
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DSC_0803 (1)Armed robbers stormed a runway at Tirana International Airport Nënë Tereza, and proceeded to an Austrian Airlines aircraft bound for Vienna that was boarding, ordering ramp workers to the ground.

Dressed in military fatigues, the robbers accessed the runway through a gate used by firefighters. The gunmen were after money being transported to Vienna by foreign banks operating in Albania. Foreign banks are not allowed to deposit hard currency to Albania’s central bank.

Initial reports indicated that the robbers made away with €2.5 million ($2.8 million), but reports in local media claimed it could be significantly higher.

A spokesman for the airline said that the cash was in the process of being loaded onto the aircraft when the robbery took place.

“Boarding had just taken place,“ said Tanja Gruber, the spokesman. “There was never any danger for crew and passengers,” she added.

One of the gunmen was later killed in an exchange of fire by police following a police chase. Four others were arrested and 40 were questioned by authorities.

Austrian said it will no longer transport cash on its flights from Albania. The flight departed following a two hour and 40 minute delay.

Similar robberies have taken place at the airport twice in the past three years.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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