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CRIME

Austrian Post van robbery was faked

The driver of an Austrian Post cash delivery van, who reported being robbed and handcuffed in his vehicle in Vienna earlier in August faked the robbery together with an ex-boyfriend, police have said.

Austrian Post van robbery was faked
Police released this image of the suspect. Photo: APA/Police

The deputy head of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Colonel Michael Mimra, and Lieutenant Robert Klug told a press conference on Wednesday that the 37-year-old driver was bound and gagged by a friend, who then made off with the cash in the district of Brigittenau.

The post office employee had been collecting money from supermarket branches and should have taken it back to the Austrian Post headquarters. However, after visiting five supermarkets he was able to open the case of money without triggering an alarm.

The cash amounted to around half a million euros. But instead of sharing it as agreed with the driver, his accomplice made off with it and flew immediately to Turkey. Police have issued an international arrest warrant for him.

The driver eventually confessed to the police when he realised his friend wasn’t coming back, and he was then arrested. He spoke to his partner in crime on his mobile phone as the police arrested him. Robert Klug said the man’s response had been: “Catch me if you can but I’m planning to live the good life in Turkey with the money.”

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CRIME

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Austria said Friday that it was investigating a report that an Austrian company developed spyware targeting law firms, banks and consultancies in at least three countries.

Austria probes claim spyware targeted law firms and banks

Microsoft’s security team earlier this week said it found that a malware called Subzero — developed by Vienna-based company DSIRF — was deployed in 2021 and 2022.

“Observed victims to date include law firms, banks and strategic consultancies in countries such as Austria, the United Kingdom and Panama,” it wrote in a blog entry on Wednesday.

Austria’s interior ministry said it had not received reports of any incidents.

READ ALSO: Austria wary of cyber attacks after personal data of foreign residents leaked online

“Of course, (intelligence agency) DSN checks the allegations. So far, there is no proof of the use of spy software from the company mentioned,” it said in a statement.

Austria’s Kurier newspaper cited DSIRF as saying that Subzero had not been misused and “was developed exclusively for use by authorities in EU states” and was not commercially available.

DSIRF did not immediately return a request for comment from AFP.

Austria’s interior ministry said it knew of the company but “has not had any business relationships” with it.

Last year several media outlets reported that governments around the world, including in the EU, had used Pegasus spyware made by Israel’s NSO Group to spy on opponents.

Budapest and Warsaw responded that the use of Pegasus was for legitimate national security reasons.

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