The Epilogue of 2005 Bank Robbery


Representatives of the General Police Administration (GPU) confirmed at a press conference in Ljubljana that the police had apprehended on Friday a 34-year-old man from Ljubljana and a 31-year-old man from the greater Ljubljana area.

One suspect had been apprehended based on material evidence collected at the scene, while the other had been arrested on the basis of information gathered during the investigation, according to the GPU.

Branko Japelj, the head of the Ljubljana criminal police, said that a 28-year-old man from the Ljubljana area was also among suspects, but that he is currently abroad. All three are Slovenian citizens.

The police have filed criminal complaints against the three, and also against two more unknown perpetrators of the biggest bank robbery in Slovenia to the day, which took place on 31 October 2005.

The heist is believed to be carried out by at least three robbers armed with assault rifles, who broke into the vault owned by SKB, just off the busiest street in the Ljubljana centre.

They disabled the security guard and over the course of several hours proceeded to break into 420 safe deposit boxes that SKB had rented out. They escaped in two cars.

The two apprehended suspects were heard by a investigating judge on Saturday, who ordered that the men be remanded in custody. The defence of the pair have already announced appeals against the decision.

Japelj added that a house search in the home of the 34-year-old suspect revealed six expensive paintings by impressionist painter Ivan Grohar, which were stolen in September 2007. He is also to face money laundering charges.

Marjan Fank of the GPU noted that a part of the stolen goods was still in Slovenia, while some of it had been invested in illicit businesses.

Following the heist, some suggested that the robbers were in fact not after money but documents, as many famous Slovenians, including politicians and businessmen, stored their valuables there.

But Fank stressed today that the sole motivation for the robbery was material gain.