French heist thief insists no knowledge of missing millions

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A French security van driver jailed for stealing over 11 million euros (14 million dollars) insisted at his appeal Tuesday he had no idea where several missing millions were or if they existed at all.

"I don't know if they exist, I don't have them," Tony Musulin told the appeal trial in Lyon of the estimated 2.5 million euros still unaccounted for after his crime which which became known as "the heist of the century".

Musulin was jailed for three years, with the possibility of parole after 18 months, at his trial in May for having taken the armoured van containing 11.6 million euros, of which police found around nine million euros in a garage. There was no violence involved in the theft.

Since handing himself in to police, he has maintained he left any remaining millions in the garage, and that he did not know how much his haul was as he dropped sacks of cash while transferring them from one van to another.

Musulin suggested that the owner of the garage he hired would know if there was any money missing as "he went to see what was there before going to the police" and he has "bank accounts in the Cayman Islands and tax havens."

Despite the relatively light sentence he received for the theft, Musulin faces up to five years in prison on insurance fraud charges after declaring his Ferrari stolen despite allegedly being seen in the vehicle.

© 2010 AFP

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