Robbers tunnel into French bank

BNP Paribas office in Paris. (SUPPLIED)

Paris Would-be robbers armed with a pneumatic drill dug a tunnel from a Paris subway station into the basement of a bank in the early hours of Sunday but failed to seize any cash or valuables, police said.

The attempted robbery of BNP Paribas is the third time this year so-called "termite gangs" have tried to rob a bank by digging a tunnel into the building.

It is not known whether the three incidents are related. The gang dug into the bank's basement, possibly via the sewage system. They failed to enter the safety deposit room and nothing was taken, a BNP spokeswoman said.

They aborted the attempt and started a fire to cover their tracks, which set off alarms and alerted police. Digging equipment, including a pneumatic drill, was found at the scene. "The individuals left the premises before they could reach the safety deposit room of the bank," Paris police said. Last weekend, a Credit Lyonnais branch in Paris was broken into by tunnel-digging robbers who cracked almost 200 private safes. A branch of Caisse d'Epargne in a Paris suburb was robbed at New Year in a similar fashion.

 

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