"No gold bars found in gangsters' tunnel"

More details have emerged about how the police were able to make an early arrest in connection with the heist at an Antwerp branch of the BNP Paribas Fortis bank.  Gangsters dug their way into the bank from a nearby basement flat by tunnelling to a sewer and looted safes.

The break-in at the bank's safe deposit room took place at the weekend.  By Tuesday afternoon police had arrested a 27-year-old suspect. The suspect is a Belgian with Georgian roots. Belgian media report that a grinding disc left behind in the tunnel alerted police to the suspect.  The grinding disc was of such a specific nature that it’s believed its purchaser was easily identified.

Tracking the suspect via DNA evidence resulted in a blank.  The suspect was only known to the police for minor offences and his DNA wasn't held on any databank.  The suspect will appear in court on Friday.

The grinding disc wasn't the only evidence found in the tunnels that the gangsters had dug.  Belgian media report the presence of a matrass and a drill.  It was rumoured that bars of gold were also found, but this Belgian prosecutors have strenuously denied.

A second suspect, also of Georgian heritage, was arrested on Thursday.  His fingerprints were discovered in the basement flat.

Meanwhile the tunnels and sewer are being searched.  On Thursday police found another item of interest that they brought to the surface wrapped in a brown paper bag.  At the request of the town authorities the tunnels will soon be filled.

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