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Bank robber jailed for heist 20 years ago

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The man covered his face with a hat in court. Photo: DPA
16:07 CET+01:00
A bank robber has been convicted for his role in what has been described as one of Germany's most brutal heists, when armed men killed a security guard during a raid on a money transport and escaped with millions.

The now 61-year-old man admitted taking part in the 1992 robbery, during which one of the two security guards was shot in the neck and head and died on the way to hospital.

Prosecutor Anette Bargenda described the robbery as one of Germany's most brutal. The gang hit a money transporter as it was delivering millions to a savings bank in Bernau, just outside Berlin. The robbers escaped with 3.5 million Deutschmarks – around €1.8 million – and were never found.

Even now many questions remain unanswered, despite the convicted man's confession of having been involved, prosecutors said, admitting they still had no idea how many other people were involved, nor who gave them the crucial information about the cash delivery.

Investigators could not prove that the man, who was not identified, was the one who shot the security guard, nor that those concerned had planned to shoot anyone fatally. This prevented charges of murder being pressed against him. But his DNA was found at the crime scene.

He admitted his involvement in return for a deal with the district court in Frankfurt an der Oder, that his total jail sentence not exceed 15 years. He was already serving a 13 year, six month jail sentence for a 2003 robbery and will now see that extended to a total of 15 years.

The man had only been out of prison for a few months having served a 15-year sentence for other robberies, when he became involved in the Bernau heist.

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But the deal did not require the man to name anyone else involved or give any information about what happened to the stolen money, though it is thought much was moved to Austria.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/hc

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