BASEL, SWITZERLAND–Police are hunting for a gang of 10 machine gun- and pistol-toting thieves who made off with hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Swiss casino.
Prosecutors in Basel described a scene like an action-film heist: About 10 men dressed in black arrived in two cars at the Grand Casino near Basel shortly after 4 a.m.
One smashed the front door with a sledgehammer and the others ran inside, the statement said. Speaking French, they ordered some 600 guest gamblers and employees to the floor, as accomplices emptied cash registers in the basement and on an upper floor, it said.
The raiders could not breach the strong room, despite shooting at its locked door, prosecutors said.
A number of shots were fired but “luckily, no one was hit,” said the statement, noting some guests and a security guard were lightly injured from being hit or stepped on.
Swiss and French police are trying to track the thieves.
Swiss police said the men fled quickly, driving away in two silver Audis with French licence plates.
A woman who accidentally drove between the getaway cars and blocked the casino exit was pulled from her vehicle and beaten, police said.
They said it was possible the men fired a shot at another car during their high-speed escape.
The casino is some 200 metres from Switzerland’s border with France.
Police said the robbers made off with “several hundreds of thousands” of francs (dollars).
On March 6, a brazen raid on a poker tournament at a downtown Berlin hotel netted robbers $330,000. In that heist, men armed with a revolver and a machete burst into the hotel to seize jackpot money. German officials say they have arrested five suspects.