Father and daughter arrested over French cash van kidnap ‘heist’

French police have arrested a cash van driver and his daughter, who claimed she was held to ransom while a gang robbed millions from her father's vehicle in Switzerland, police sources said on Tuesday.

Father and daughter arrested over French cash van kidnap 'heist'
Journalists wait outside Lyon police headquarters as a father and his daughter are taken into custody. Photo: JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

The father, daughter and a colleague of the father were taken into custody in Lyon on Monday, four days after they reported being the victims of a heist resembling the plot of a Hollywood movie.

The 22-year-old daughter told police she was kidnapped from her apartment in the southeastern French city of Lyon by two men posing as plumbers.

She said the men bundled her into a car, tied her up and forced her to telephone her father who works for SOS Surveillance, a Swiss company that transports cash in armoured vans, to demand a ransom.

The father, who was en route with a colleague to the Swiss city of Lausanne with a cash delivery, then agreed to meet the kidnappers in a car park near the border with France and hand over the van's contents, the story went.

French police last week estimated the loot at 20-30 million Swiss francs (€17–26 million).

The daughter was found unharmed at around 10:00 pm on a road outside Lyon and appeared “very shocked” by her ordeal, police said at the time.

Investigators now appear to suspect it was an inside job.

Swiss authorities had appealed for witnesses to come forward over the robbery and said they were looking for three men with accented French, “maybe from the south of France or North Africa”.


Swiss man kidnapped in Zurich ‘is vaccine commission chief’

A Swiss man briefly abducted last month by a German, before his kidnapper was shot dead by police near Zurich, is the head of Switzerland's federal vaccination commission, local media reported Saturday. 

Swiss man kidnapped in Zurich 'is vaccine commission chief'

The information gives a completely different twist on the case. 

The 38-year-old German had been wanted since March 31 by the authorities after abducting a man in the canton of Zurich. 

The police did not communicate about the case until the German was shot dead this week, and did not give the identity of the abductee. 

But according to several Swiss media outlets, including the Tagesanzeiger daily and the website, the victim of the abduction is the head of the Federal Commission for Vaccinations (CFV). 

The motive for the abduction remains unclear. 

According to the Swiss online news site Watson, the German abductor had been in close contact with conspiracy theorists. 

He was killed on Wednesday night when police tried to arrest him. 

Before being shot and killed he pulled out a gun and killed a 28-year-old woman, believed to be his girlfriend, according to police. 

According to the Swiss news agency ATS, a 34-year-old Swiss man was arrested on Thursday and is believed to be linked to the abduction.