Plain clothes detectives foiled a €300,000 tiger-kidnapping tonight after a threatened bank worker dumped a bag of cash on railway lines.
A suspected gang member was arrested near tracks by the Royal Canal in north Dublin after a woman dropped off the massive ransom to free her hostage boyfriend.
The Permanent tsb worker had been ordered to collect the cash from the Phisboro branch at 11am and throw it over a bridge near Broombridge station, Cabra.
Two officers swooped in and arrested the suspect after a report that a bag had been dropped on the rail line.
Gardaí said her traumatised boyfriend was later freed about 15 miles away in Ashbourne, Co Meath.
The drama unfolded just 11 days after another couple escaped unharmed after being taken hostage by a gang in a similar tiger-kidnap raid.
Permanent tsb said it was grateful neither the staff member or her partner suffered physical injuries during the audacious heist.
“Thankfully there were no physically injuries,” a spokesman said.
“We are now co-operating with the gardaí, who are investigating the matter.”
The latest robbery happened after the woman, who is aged in their 20s, left a house in Dublin 15 and travelled to work.
It is understood her boyfriend was abducted separately and his kidnappers made contact with his partner, demanding she withdraw a large sum of money.
Garda sources said the woman followed official protocols which were set up after a spate of tiger kidnaps in recent years.
“She got the money and did what she was supposed to do – the guards were able to apprehend the man,” a garda source said.
The suspect, who is in his early 20’s, was arrested and all the cash recovered.
He is being held at Mountjoy Garda Station under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007.
Earlier this month a woman who works at the Bank of Ireland in the north of the city was abducted with her husband after dropping her young child to a creche.
The couple were taken from their home in Lusk, Co Dublin, and the woman ordered to drive to the Coolock branch to carry out a heist as her husband was bundled into the back of a van and held hostage in Tallaght.
She dropped off €130,000 for the gang, but it was several hours before her husband managed to free himself and raise the alarm.
Tiger kidnappings earned the name because of the stalking and predatory nature of the criminals involved.
Ireland saw a surge in the hostage-for-cash plots in late 2007 and 2008 with one of the most daring occurring last February when an armed gang held a family with a young child hostage as they launched a multi-million euro robbery at Bank of Ireland’s flagship branch.
The six-strong gang forced a bank worker into the College Green offices in central Dublin as they held his girlfriend, her mother and her five-year-old granddaughter at gunpoint.
More than €7m was taken in the audacious heist.
Detectives are probing if the latest robberies are linked or carried out by an organised criminal gang or a group carrying out a copycat style attack.