Sweden faces cash shortage after robberySweden faces cash shortage after robbery
Warnings of a national cash shortage are being sounded on Thursday night after drivers of security vans in Sweden's large cities refused to work without police escorts. The stoppage is in response to the armed robbery of a secure delivery van, which was blown up in western Sweden earlier in the day. Cash machines in the three largest Swedish cities will run out of cash if the problem is not resolved. Unions representing drivers working for Securitas in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö stopped working at 5.30 pm, after unions spent several hours in discussions following the morning's events. Gerhard Wendt, a representative for the Transport union in Malmö said he was demanding police escorts before his members would work again. Securitas's press officer Åke Andersson told news agency TT that his company had "understanding for the unions".
"We are very concerned for our employees. What has happened today is the worst that has happened for a long time," he said. Asked what effects the stoppage would have for ordinary members of the public, he replied that "ATMs will be empty". "Eighty percent of Sweden's cash comes from ATMs," said Andersson, who added he was worried that people would start hoarding cash. Unions at Securitas's rival secure transport company Falck were expected to decide during the evening whether to continue working. The decision came after a security van was blown up near a Statoil petrol station on the E6 highway between Stenungsund and Kungälv. The robbers stopped the Securitas van by driving in front of it and braking hard. Two masked men, who were armed with guns, then blew up the van and drove away with the money. It is unknown how much they took. Before blowing up the van, the men forced out the Securitas guards at gunpoint. The guards, one male and one female, sustained superficial injuries.