Wednesday, 16. April 2014
29. 01. 14. - 15:30
A charity worker who staged Austria's biggest ever robbery and stole over 3 million GBP so that he could feed starving children in Africa has been arrested as he handed the cash out to the needy.
The married man, who is the father of an 18-month-old baby, has not yet been named because of Austrian privacy laws. He stole the money from a security van and knew about the best way to carry out the robbery because he had been a policeman himself before he was forced to retire after being shot.
He had then set up a private security business, and been sent to work in Africa where he had seen for the first time the incredible poverty of people, and especially children, and had returned to Austria a changed man.
The money he stole was being transported across Vienna before Christmas in a security van from the firm Loomis. It was destined to fill cash machines being used by Christmas shoppers, and he had staged the raid after persuading a female ex-Loomis employee to help him "spread wealth around the world", he told police.
The raiders were wearing face masks and pulled a pistol on the delivery men before they tied them up and made off with boxes of cash.
But they were caught when police analysed footage taken on a cash machine security camera that the security guards had been filling when they were robbed.
Loomis staff were asked if they could identify either of the robbers, and one of them pointed out that the woman in the image had a resemblance to the ex staff member.
The money was found in the attic of the man's in laws home in Carinthia where he had hidden it without their knowledge. He was in the province to celebrate Christmas with his family, and he had already started shoving bundles of money through the letterboxes as anonymous donations to the needy.
He told police he had however only given away a fraction of the cash, as he wanted to give the bulk of it to orphans in Africa. He named the 'Blue Sky' village in Equatorial Guinea as the main place he hoped to help, by building houses and schools for children in need.
His wife said: "With the security job, he had an assignment in Africa. When he was there he saw the starving children and this really affected him. Since then he was never the same. He was always planning charitable projects, and was always talking about dividing up wealth around the world."
The pairs lawyer Werner Tomanek confirmed he had often donated to charity and helped people in need.
He said: "He wanted to send the money to Africa in a container full of cheap electronic items. He was keeping it in the attic until he got it organised. He told the family that the cases were full of old documents. Some of the money he also anonymously put through people's letterboxes who he knew were in financial difficulty."
The pair are both currently in custody.
Austria Accused Of Ignoring Giant Nazi Swastika
A huge swastika that has scarred the walls of an Austrian castle for the past 80 years is still on view despite breaching strict postwar rules banning all Nazi symbols.
Jetflyers Take The Jet Ski Onto The Road
An Austrian company is making waves after they came up with the idea of taking a jet ski – and fitting it with wheels.
Nuns invite young women to get a taste of Abbey life
In a bid to revive their Austrian abbey that doubles up as a health resort, a group of nuns are inviting young women to come and stay with them to get a taste of nun life.
Austrian women earning over fifth less than men
Austrian women are earning on average 23.4 percent less than men in the country, according to Statistik Austria.
Exploring photography and art through 1960s cult film Blow-Up
Vienna's Albertina is putting on an photography exhibition featuring stills from the cult sixties photography film Blow-Up by Michelangelo Antonioni.
Turtle flies from Vienna to India to try his luck with the ladies
An endangered turtle from Schoenbrunn Zoo is taking a trip across the world to try his luck out with two female turtles in India.
What is on at Haydn Kino this week? (17 April - 23 April)
The following films are on at the English language cinema Haydn Kino on Mariahilfestrasse between 10 April and 16 April:
Two teenage girls go missing as they fly from Austria to fight in Syria
Two teenager girls who say they have left Austria to fight in Syria have trigged an international search operation from the Austrian police. The two - a 15-year-old and a 16-year-old - left identical letters behind telling their families goodbye and that "we will meet in in Paradise". The letters told of their plans to go to Syria to "fight for Islam". The parents of the girls reported that their children had gone missing last week and since then the police tracked them to Turkish city of Adana, where they had flown to from Austria - after that the police lost track of the girls. Adana is 75 miles northwest of Aleppo, a city that became a major battleground during the civil war taking place in Syria. Police spokesman Thomas Keiblinger say that the police are taking the farewell letters "very seriously" and are now conducting an international search for two teenage girls who left farewell letters announcing plans to "fight for Islam" in Syria. Both girls come from families who immigrated from Bosnia but have not been fully identified by Austrian police.
Ricky Martin to perform at Life Ball 2014
In a celebrating of joys of life, sensuousness and a tribute to handsomeness, the Life Ball 2014 has announced that the Latino star Ricky Martin, chosen many times over as Sexiest Man Alive, will perform at the event.
Pony And Trapped After Too Much Fresh Grass
A roly-poly pony lost its balance on an Alpine slope due to its calorie-overloaded body.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|What are the unions doing to fight unemployment?|
|Glock Pays High Price In Hope Of Olympic Gold|
|Austria encouraged by IEA to tap into shale gas|
|Austrian Grand Prix on the search for 'grid girls'|
|Banks Leave The Sinking Ship And No-One Cares|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.