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I'm no Robin Hood, says security guard-turned-robber
A French armoured van driver, who made off with over 11 million euros in 2009, told a court that he is no Robin Hood and that his bosses drove him to crime. Some Facebook fans have dubbed his robbery “the heist of the century”.
“They say that I'm Robin Hood, but I'm not. I'm just a normal guy," 39-year-old Toni Musulin told a court in the central city of Lyon on Tuesday.
But many French users of the Facebook social media site disagree – over 1,200 have signed up to his fan page, while other pages declare him last year’s best driver or a suitable candidate for president. Favourite clips are also viewable on You tube and T-shirts are also on sale.
Musulin told the court that his boss at the Swedish-owned security firm drove him driving off with 11.6 million euros, stuffed into dozens of sacks, after to dumping his van.
"I had problems with my boss," he said "It's always the little guys who have to take it, so I decided to rebel."
Musulin’s coworkers at Loomis backed up his claim in court.
“There were problems in the company which could explain what Toni Musulin did,” said Didier Matrundola, who worked with the defendant and was suspended for three days after the theft.
Another coworker, Philippe Ferrero, who took sick leave for five months, said that Musulin had been harassed and denied holiday due to him.
Musulin turned himself in Monaco, 11 days after the robbery. Two days later nine million euros were found in a lockup garage but 2.5 million euros are still missing.
He denies knowing where the missing money is.
"I didn't take the money. I don't have the money," he told the judge, who remarked that, oddly, only large bills of 500, 200 and 100 euros were lost.
“I was throwing the bags and they were dropping anywhere. They slid, because they were plastic bags. It was hard work, I really had a tough time."
Laughter in court met the latter remark.
Musulin, who complains about being underpaid after ten years of working for Loomis, earned less than 2,000 euros a month but bought himself a Ferrari.
He is also on trial for insurance fraud for having declared the car stolen in 2009.
He faces up to three years in jail for the robbery.
His lawyers tried and failed to delay the trial because of objections to the way their client was transferred from Monaco to France.