Police find robbery loot in forest

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Millions of Norwegian kroner in cash from an armed robbery of money couriers outside Oslo last year has been found buried in a nearby forest. One of those arrested in the case led police to the site of the buried loot.

Newspaper Romerikes Blad reported that the money stems from the robbery of a NOKAS money couriers’ van at Skedsmokorset, northeast of Oslo, last autumn. Nearly NOK 10 million (USD 1.6 million) disappeared in the heist, after armed robbers held up the two men at gunpoint.

Seven persons have since been charged in the robbery, one of whom included one of the NOKAS couriers as an alleged “inside man.” The investigation and manhunt after the robbery has involved seven police districts, which now have not only cracked the case but recovered a sizeable portion of the money.

Prosecutor Bjørn Erik Pettersen said the money was found in a forest in Østfold County, south of Oslo. “We dug up the loot, which was buried well and packed in both small plastic bags, aluminum foil, plastic containers and, finally, a black garbage bag,” Pettersen told Romerikes Blad.

Asked how other defendants in the case reacted upon learning that one of them had led police to the burial site, Pettersen said not all of them had been told yet, “but they will get information on this.” He acknowledged that it was “unusual” for police to be able to track down so much cash from such robberies.

He said police now hope to recover the rest of the money stolen. They wouldn’t say how much of it they expect to recover based on the overview they now have from the cooperative defendant.

Some of the nearly NOK 10 million reportedly has been invested in various illegal operations, while Pettersen said the robbers involved also spent some of it on partying. “There’s been a gang of happy guys who managed to use up a bit of the money on having fun, I believe,” Petter told Romerikes Blad.

Four persons took part in the actual robbery on October 10 last year, along with one accomplice and two couriers. One of the couriers has so far avoided arrest.

Views and News from Norway/Nina Berglund

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