Real Heist Stories: The Dar Es Salaam Bank Heist

Most Mysterious Heist in History?

Throughout history, many heists and robberies have taken place. As much as we would like to ignore them, even the largest ones recorded take a while to go overdue to the difficulties, plans, and people involved. 

Many of the most infamous heists took place in England but also in the USA. However, Iraq is a country with many controversies, a crime happening very often, and real heists that have been terrorizing people over the years. Thus, it is expected to have more than one or two bank robberies and other situations for the records. 

Among them, the Dar Es Salaam Bank heist is one of the most known in the country and worldwide due to the amount of money involved and how little people made the robbery possible. 

As people who have expressed their love for criminal stories like this and finding the truth is part of our hobby, we decided to dedicate some time to this heist and ensure you are well-informed about how, when, and where it took place. 

Therefore, if you are interested even just a little, you better stay to know more about a timeless bank burglary in history. 

The Mystery Behind the Dar Es Salaam Bank Heist

Planning the strategy and how it will take place is natural and required for any project, even when it is robbery. 

However, it is very hard to know how people came up with the idea and executed it when it comes to heists due to one simple reason: Criminals don’t tend to expose their tactics even when they are captured, and when the police collect evidence, a lot tends to be missing. 

We hope you kind of thank our efforts in collecting as much as we can (though we are not that’s serious about this) since the Dar Es Salaam Bank robbery is an enigma for many, including us, after our research. So, where should we start?

First, we have set the record that this bank robbery took place in Iraq, but more specifically in Baghdad, where the Dar Es Salaam Bank was located. 

There’s is very little information about the heist due to the poor coverage of the incident, the language obstacle, and how people barely reacted and decided to watch news about the robbery due to the chaos in the city on July 11, 2007 (the date of the heist). 

However, the burglary involves three thieves dressed as bank guards, and this is as much of the information you will find about them. 

But how did everything took place? That’s where the mystery starts.

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Although the date and number of people involved were confirmed, there aren’t records of what actually happened or how they were able to still the money. 

The bank employees arrived at work the morning after the theft to discover the vault open, the doors unlocked, and a total amount of $282 million (in dollars, not the Iraqin currency) were gone. 

Although authorities dedicated time to investigate the robbery, to this day, no one was arrested or any cash recovered, which is why many questions remain unanswered: 

  • What was the reason why the bank had so much cash that day? 
  • Why was it in U.S. dollars, not Iraqi Dinar?
  • How were three people able to steal it without being caught? 
  • How isn’t there any image of them?
  • Was their disguise as guards that effective? 
  • How did they know about the millions saved in the bank?
  • Why did the bank have so much money in foreign currency?

Authorities believe it is probable that the men sought the help of local militias since they couldn’t be able to leave the city otherwise since the violence and, again, condition of the city was falling apart and quite unsafe at the time. 

To give an idea of the extent of the violence in Baghdad, 18 people were killed on the same day that the heist occurred. 

However, everyone agrees that it is easier to steal large amounts of money during wartime than it is in peacetime, as the Nazis demonstrated during World War II. 

This is why the thieves definitely took advantage of the situation with the guards, the collapse of the city, and distractions involving society, authorities, and criminals. 

As we briefly mentioned and you can guess easily, there isn’t information about the criminals involved nor the background of anyone in the scene the next morning. 

But as soon as we get it, rest assured we will update this post!

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What Did They Do with the Money? – Our Guessing

We don’t have to repeat the mystery of this heist so far, but what we can help you decipher is for what the money might have been used. 

First, considering the situation in Iraq, which involved much more than 18 people’s death (yes, worst things happened at that time), thieves were, for sure, trying to find an escape to the situation in Baghdad in specific due to the military activity. 

They might have had or not enough resources of their own since, even considering the conditions mentioned earlier in which the heist took place, they had to be skilled in robbery and with some experience. This means they might have had enough money to afford some expenses to move, but not enough. 

Surprisingly, to this date, not a single part of the money has been found with serials or specific marks. 

But as we were mentioning, we believe the robbers were aiming to use the money to save themselves from the conditions in the country. 

Of course, some people like to argue they might have used the money to help some people in the community, but no one has come forward to confirm it, and we highly doubt that will ever happen. 

Though, we can just hope it was, at least, used for a good cause beyond the simple fact of stealing for pleasure and luxury.

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Closing: The Dar Es Salaam Bank Robbery in 2021

The robbery of this private bank for almost $300 million is considered one of the biggest heists in history, especially for Iraq, considering the stolen foreign currency. 

We know we have given you most of the information about the robbery so far due to the lack of details. Still, we can finally mention that this robbery’s investigation continues active regardless of the current situation in the country as of this date. 

To be honest, we believe there’s no point in continuing with the search any longer since it has been over a decade, and the money is long gone, spent, or maybe destroyed. 

What we can tell you is that we will never see it confiscated, returned, or any of the sorts, and the three robbers behind the heist will probably live their lives quietly without being caught.

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4 Facts about the Dar Es Salaam Bank Heist

  • The bank, which is a commercial one in Iraq, continues operating as one of the largest since it was established in 1998 and despite the loss during the heist. 
  • Some people believe more than three people and real guards were involved in the robbery. 
  • The police and not only the militias, much likely helped the robbers to pass through the checkpoint across the city without being detected one exchange for money. 
  • An additional $174k but in Iraqi Dinar were stolen.

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Written by Dame Cash

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