The Fraumünster post office robbery
September 1997, Fraumünster post office in Zurich: five young men drive a delivery van into the post office courtyard and steal 53 million francs in just four minutes.
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Zurich, 1 September 1997, 10:30 a.m.: in the courtyard of Fraumünster post office, more than 70 million francs sit ready for transport to the National Bank. Five young men know this, having been told by another accomplice, a temporary employee of Swiss Post. They drive to Fraumünster post office in a stolen delivery van, which is disguised as a Telecom service van. Within four minutes, the robbers steal 53 million francs, loading the boxes full of money into their vehicle – because the boot is too small, they have to leave two boxes behind. Their haul is bigger than that managed by legendary train robber Ronald “Ronnie” Biggs in 1963. The Fraumünster robbery goes down as the “post office robbery of the century”.
The major manhunt started immediately afterwards initially yields no results. However, it later becomes clear that the robbers have been somewhat amateurish and have left various clues. One by one, they are all caught, the last in Miami in 1998. All have confessed and are serving prison sentences of around five years.
As a result, Swiss Post strengthens and professionalizes its security management, for example by outsourcing high-risk transports.
In 2020, Swiss broadcaster SRF recounts the tale in a fictional documentary and podcast, in which the ringleader also tells his side of the story:
Doku-Drama: «Es geschah am… Der Postraub des Jahrhunderts»
Walter Knobel, Schweizerische Post (Hg.): Gelb bewegt. Die Schweizerische Post ab 1960, Bern 2011.