Dublin airport robbery: Armed gang hold family hostage
Armed gardai attended a 'serious' incident at Dublin Airport this morning following an armed tiger-kidnapping elsewhere.
Three members of a family - a father, a mother and their daughter in her 20s - were taken from their home in north Dublin at 5am, and the incident moved to Dublin Airport at approximately 9am as the gang attempted to get access to a substantial amount of cash using a van driven by the father.
Gardai were attending an incident at the airport shortly after 9am, before receiving a request from the Garda Press Office for a media blackout, which was observed until lunchtime.
It is understood that the security situation at, or in the immediate environs of the airport, lasted for approximately 90 minutes with armed gardai attending. However, no shots were fired.
The tiger-kidnapping took place at a house in the Gracefield Road area of Artane at 5am, when a gang of three masked and armed men forced their way in.
The mother and daughter were taken and driven around, before they were tied up and kept in the back of a van at a location in Dunboyne in Meath.
Meanwhile, the father was forced to drive a GSLS cash-security van to Dublin Airport with members of the gang inside, and a sum of money is understood to have been handed over. There are reports that the sum of money could be in the region of €200,000. The exact details of the handover - or what happened at the airport - remain unclear.
Our pictures show armed gardai from the Emergency Response Unit approaching a cash-delivery vehicle in the cargo area of the airport later this morning.
One witness described how “there were guns everywhere” and that the situation was “very tense”.
“The gardai surrounded the van. They were carrying shields and approaching the van in three-man formation,” the witness added.
However, it is believed that the armed gang were not in the vicinity by this stage.
It is understood three employees of the cash delivery firm had locked themselves into the van until gardai arrived.
There are no reports of arrests at this stage.
The mother and daughter are understood to have been released unharmed - but are said to be traumatised by the incident.
"Gardai in Colock have launched an investigation following the false imprisonment and abduction of a family from the Gracefield road, Artane area and subsequent theft of a substantial sum of money from a cash in transit vehicle.," a garda spokesman said.
"At around 5am this morning the 3rd of December 2015 two female occupants were taken from their home at Gracefield road in a white/Silver VW Caddy van partial registration number 09D which was driven around for a number of hours and found by Gardai.
"Both females were tied and bound in the back of this van in the vicinity of Chestnut Grove estate, Dunboyne, Co. Meath
"At the same time the male occupant of the house was forced to attend work at his place of employment with a cash in transit company and forced to hand over a substantial sum of money in the vicinity of Corballis Road Business Park, Dublin Airport."
No flights in or out of the airport were affected or diverted during the incident.
Dublin Airport Authority said it was unable to comment when contacted by the Irish Independent shortly after 9am, referring to it as "a garda-related matter".
They issued a brief statement during the shortly before 10am saying all flight operations were continuing as normal.
"The Gardai are appealing for the publics assistance in respect of suspicious activity in a number of specific locations between the hours of 8pm on the Wednesday the 2nd of December 2015 to 8am 3rd December 2015," a spokesman said.
"Any suspicious activity between the Artane Roundabout, Gracefield Road and its environs.
"Any suspicious activity in respect of a 09D Volkswagon Caddy Silver/White at Gracefield Road, Artane, Chesnut Grove, Dunboyne or between those locations.
"Gardaí are also appealing for information on a small white box type van which was parked in the vincinity of Corballis Road Business Park, Dublin Airport between 7am and 8.30am on todays date.
"An incident room has been set up at Coolock Garda Station and anyone with information is asked to contact gardai on 01-6664200 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.
Source Irish Independent