Police in western Switzerland appealed for witnesses on Friday after armed robbers clad in black clothing and balaclavas escaped with up to €26 million ($31.8 million).
“The thieves fled to an unknown destination,” police in the Swiss canton of Vaud said in a statement.
The drama began late Thursday, when the assailants, posing as plumbers, kidnapped the daughter of a security guard from her apartment in the southeastern French city of Lyon, investigators said.
The 22-year-old told police she was tied up, bundled into a car, and forced to phone her father, who transports money in armored vehicles for a Swiss security company.
Police said the father was en route to Lausanne to make a delivery with a colleague when the call came through, and he agreed to meet the kidnappers in a car park on the Swiss side of the border.
“There, several armed men who were awaiting the van made him park it. They…completely emptied the van’s contents and fled in a dark-colored Porsche SUV,” Swiss police said in a statement, without specifying how much money was stolen.
Police sources quoted by news agencies said the van was carrying “between 20 and 30 million Swiss francs (€17-26 million, $21-32 million).”
No one was injured during the heist. Investigators said the security guard’s daughter was later found on the side of a road north of Lyon.
Police said they had launched a criminal probe into the robbery and were searching for three men with accented French.
nm/bw (Reuters, AFP, dpa)