May 01, 2011

Struth! Thief flush with cash after toilet heist

St Martin
Air Antilles ATR-42 of the type involved in the robbery


IN his continuing search for the more weird, wacky and wondrous in the world of travel, David Ellis says that police are searching for a man who spent most of the short flight between the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and St Martin in the plane's toilet.

Because just as the plane was about to land, he asked for an ambulance to be waiting for him, and when this was arranged he walked to the vehicle – then suddenly said he felt better, declared he no longer needed hospital treatment, and walked away.

And it was only then that a Brink's Security guard who had put nearly US$1.65 million in cash in bags in the cargo hold of the plane in Guadaloupe, went to the cargo hold and discovered that over $236,000 of the money was missing.

And when cleaners entered the plane's toilet they found bank notes scattered inside – and that a floor panel had been removed, leaving a gaping hole to the cargo compartment directly below.

Police said the canny thief had stuffed the money inside his clothing – and because he'd been escorted to an ambulance, he'd avoided any security screening at St Martin and then simply walked away.

The man's female companion on the plane was searched and questioned, but as she had none of the money on her she was allowed to go free; Brink's Security, and Caribbean police, are still searching for the wiley thief and their missing $236,000.

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