(Trinidad Express) More than TT$300,000 was allegedly stolen by a 23-year-old man from the Cambio Exchange booth inside the duty-free area of Piarco International Airport early Saturday morning.
Investigators say the daring heist, which took place in full view of surveillance cameras, happened shortly after 12.30 a.m. and the suspect stuffed all the money into his clothing and left the airport walking.
Senior law enforcement sources who spoke to TV6 exclusively, said a man with the initials ETR had been working at the Cambio Exchange booth for the last three months.
Early Saturday morning, investigators say, the suspect was on duty with another male employee, who left on a break. When the employee returned to the Cambio booth about ten minutes later, he discovered all the local and foreign currency had vanished. He reported the matter to authorities on the compound, who reviewed footage from surveillance cameras inside the Cambio booth.
That footage showed a man stuffing money into his clothing. By that time, however, the suspect was long gone, having simply walked out of the airport, and has not been seen since. A source close to the investigation told the Express investigators had no doubt the suspect kept the money in his clothing since the surveillance cameras showed him leaving the compound without any bags.
Investigators say it was quite possible some of the money was contained in small pouches that he had stashed on his person, and that is why he was able to walk out with such a large sum.
Moments later, a janitor found a bag containing Guyanese currency in a garbage bin inside the nearby men’s bathroom and alerted the authorities. In the black bag, police found 139,460 Guyanese dollars—about TT$4,000.
They believe the suspect might have placed the money there because he was unable to fit any more cash on his person. Cambio officials were called and together with police.
The Express was able to obtain an official doc-ument showing the denominations of the local and foreign bank notes that were stolen: • TT$159,742.83;
• US$20,285 (TT$131,041);
• euro3,440 (TT$26,926);
• Canadian $1,820 (TT$10,810);
• £2,255 (TT$20,956);
• Swiss Francs 3,090 (TT$19,559);
• Barbados $1,125 (TT$2,898);
• EC$440 (TT$928).
The total amount stolen has worked out to TT$372,860 after being calculated using the latest bank exchange selling rates.