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France recovers security van cash

Tony Musulin
Tony Musulin is now a hot topic of conversation on social networking sites

French police have recovered most of 11.6m euros (£10.4m) stolen from a security van in Lyon, officials say.

A nationwide manhunt has been under way since Thursday's theft for the vehicle's driver, Tony Musulin, and nearly 50 sacks of stolen bills.

The 39-year-old disappeared with the armoured van and the cash collected from the Banque de France while two co-workers were inside another bank.

The empty vehicle was discovered hours later in the city's eastern suburbs.

The retrieved money - about 9m euros - was found in packets of five to 100-euro notes in a rented Lyon garage on Saturday, investigators said.

Police are currently working on the theory that Mr Musulin had "acted alone" in the robbery, said Xavier Richaud, a Lyon prosecutor, countering previous suggestions that the driver might have been taken hostage by other criminals.

Internet sensation

Police had visited Mr Musulin's flat to find it "unoccupied, almost cleaned up, as if he had prepared his getaway", said Mr Richaud earlier.

The driver had previously complained about how badly he and his colleagues were treated, work-mates told French radio.

"He said the other day, 'They'll pay - the bank, the bosses. We'll have them,'" one colleague was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Mr Musulin has become a hot topic of conversation on social networking sites.

One Facebook fan page praises the driver for pulling off the "heist of the century", while another lauds the driver for his "no guns, no violence" approach.

Other comments praise the simplicity of what they call "the heist of the century".

Interpol has called on all its 188 member states to provide any information they might have about Mr Musulin, an employee of the Loomis security firm, investigators were quoted as telling AFP news agency.



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Van driver assaulted in robbery
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12 Sep 09 |  North East/N Isles
Bank robbers target security van
08 Sep 09 |  Surrey

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