Armed robbers steal €2.5m from Austrian Airlines plane — Albania airport heist

Tirana's International Airport of Mother Teresa

Tirana's International Airport of Mother Teresa

Gunmen broke into Albania's global airport on Tuesday, swiped bags of cash from a bank van and sped off - triggering a police chase and shootout in which one of the robbers was killed, according to reports.

As they tried to escape, police gave chase along back roads.

Around 800 metres away the robbers got into a firefight with police who were trying to stop them and one of the gunmen was killed. However, it appears they managed to escape. The Albanian Daily News puts the figure at €10 million. The gunmen managed to steal cash, reportedly worth millions of Euros, which was being loaded into the Austrian Airlines aircraft, police said in a statement according to local media.

A robbery at an Albania global airport has led to a deadly shootout, police say.

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At the time of the robbery all passengers were on board the plane, an Airbus A320, which was due to take off for Vienna. "There was never any danger for crew and passengers", Austrian Airlines spokeswoman Tanja Gruber has been reported as saying. The aircraft, which was due to depart for Vienna on flight OS848, was checked on the ground at Tirana Airport and took off with a delay of nearly three hours.

Police confirmed that a sum of money had been taken during the incident but would not say how much.

Airports in Albania transport hard currency through air shipments via Rinas airport to Vienna, because the central band does not accept their cash deposits.

The country's economic model, which is based on remittances brought in cash by immigrants and used to pay for imported goods or services, creates the need to transfer large quantities of cash, mostly to Austria.

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