A masked gang armed with machine guns and pistols staged a spectacular robbery at a Swiss casino dubbed “Las Vegas in Europe” yesterday and escaped with hundreds of thousands of euros.
The raiders struck at 4am while some 600 gamblers and staff were busy around the 15 gaming tables and 357 slot machines inside Basel's Grand Casino hotel a mile from the city's airport
Ten masked men burst into the red-lit futuristic casino building after smashing down the entrance door with a sledgehammer. They immediately started firing rounds at the chandeliers in the building's main foyer. Several guests and staff were hurled to the floor.
“It was like something out of an action film, and very frightening,” said a casino spokesman.
Terrified gamblers and staff obeyed orders to lie on the floor, while the gunmen filled holdalls with the the cash contents of various tills in the casino's basement and ground floor.
They then ran with their takings to two grey Audi saloon getaway cars and sped away.
Police said that a woman casino guest was pulled out of her car and beaten up by the gunmen after she attempted to block their path by parking across the exit road before they escaped.