Wednesday, 23. 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.
(will be approved by an editor before going online)
Czech firm in the proverbial over dung parcel terror alert in Austria
A Czech mail order company that sends elephant poo around the EU could be faced with a hefty bill after a package of dung sparked a terror alert at an Austrian town hall.
Model helicopter chops up owner
Austrian model aircraft enthusiast Uwe E., 50, is in intensive care after he tried to catch his expensive model helicopter when it suddenly dropped out of the sky in the town of Krenglbach in Upper Austria, and he was badly chopped up by the rotor blades.
ORF Watch To Probe State Broadcaster
Nine Austrian journalists, including the author of this article which is one of many published on my Tagebuch (diary), have got together to create a new website www.ORF-Watch.at.
Julius Meinl expands to UK
Austria's prestigious coffee brand Julius Meinl is launching its famous product in the UK, with the hope of challenging the British culture of taking coffee to go.
Indestructible Armoured Police Tank Damaged By Eggs And Tennis Balls
An Austrian manufacturer of a high-tech anti-riot water cannon costing almost 1 million EUR is facing some tough questions after one of the vehicles was badly damaged during a demonstration that involved eggs and tennis balls.
Wiener Linien grinds to a temporary halt Wednesday morning
Vienna's public transport will grind to a halt between 4 am and 6.30am on Wednesday morning as unions hold an emergency meetings to discuss the safety of Wiener Linien staff.
Vienna to host fashion awards
Since 2009, the Vienna Awards for Fashion and Lifestyle has played a big role in the Austrian fashion scene and has evolved itself into one of the country's most important events in the industry to date.
Angry business leaders say Austria is too expensive
Austria as an economic location is seriously under threat according to domestic business leaders.
Austrian architecture in the 20th Century
The Architecture centre in Vienna is opening the third stage of it's long term exhibition looking at Austrian 20th and 21st Century architecture.
Czech canoeist drowns in Austria
A canoeist drowned on the Saalach River in Austria at the weekend after his canoe capsized in the water.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Austrian Teen Girls Become Pin Ups For Syrian Jihad|
|Turtle flies from Vienna to India to try his luck with the ladies|
|Austria Accused Of Ignoring Giant Nazi Swastika|
|Pink Easter bunny helps Vienna art world pay tribute to Dürer|
|Angry business leaders say Austria is too expensive|
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.