BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Prosecutors claimed in court Tuesday that a 26-year-old bank employee was the "inside man" in a $47 million robbery of a Northern Ireland bank.
When the Belfast Northern Bank heist was committed in 2004, it was the largest in British history. Now, prosecutors say Chris Ward rearranged his work schedule at the bank so that he would be on duty when the robbers struck, the BBC reported.
"The robbery was a highly organized crime, which was clearly well-planned and planned with a knowledge of the bank and its work and security procedures," prosecutor Gordon Kerr said in his opening statement in Belfast Crown Court.
As part of the plan, Kerr said, robbers staged takeovers of the homes of Ward's parents and fellow Northern Bank employee Kevin McMullan and his wife, holding them as hostages and ostensibly giving Ward orders, the BBC reported.
Ward was initially treated him as a victim, but that changed when police noted discrepancies in how the robbers treated his parents and McMullan's wife, who was threatened with death, the BBC said.