British Columbia·Exclusive

Ex-RBC employees sued in $200K inside job bank heists

The Royal Bank of Canada claims two former employees conspired to steal more than $200,000 as part of two elaborate inside job bank heists.

Roommate employees allegedly conspired with outsider in 2 elaborate thefts from Vancouver branch

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      The Royal Bank of Canada claims two former Vancouver employees, Jeffrey Ho Nam Lau and Maradona Hoang Vu, conspired to steal more than $200,000 as part of two elaborate inside job bank heists.

      According to a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Lau and Vu allegedly outsmarted an RBC security system aimed at keeping combinations of two crucial locks out of the hands of any single employee.

      The bank claims the pair were roommates in Burnaby, B.C., while they worked at an RBC branch at 3318 Kingsway in East Vancouver.

      One of the men knew the combination to an upper lock for a vault that contained large amounts of cash, and the other knew the combination for the lower lock. No employee is given both sets of numbers.

      RBC claims the pair also allegedly made a copy of a treasury timer key.

      In addition to the lawsuit, CBC News has obtained a copy of sworn information to obtain a search warrant by Vancouver police for a Toronto-Dominion Bank safety deposit box believed to contain some of the stolen cash.

      The documents illustrate the alleged scheme through a series of photographs. (See photogallery at top of story).

      A Vancouver police search warrant image shows the upper and lower lock combination to an RBC cash vault. (Vancouver police)

      RBC did not immediately report heists to police

      The bank also names a third man in the suit, Hau Ngoc Nguyen. RBC claims he conspired with then RBC employees Vu and Lau to steal $62,500 in December 2013 and more than $140,000 in January 2014.

      The bank didn't report the alleged thefts to police until February 2014, carrying out an internal investigation first.

      In his response to the claim, Nguyen denies any involvement in the thefts and any relationship with Vu or Lau. He says the bank should have reported the first theft when it happened.

      "RBC failed to investigate defendants J. Lau and M. Vu after the first theft took place," Nguyen writes. "Thus neglecting a highly possible internal theft issue that may have involved superiors/employees."

      Neither Lau nor Vu have filed responses to RBC's claims, which have not been proven in court.

      RBC footage shows a man entering the bank wearing a disguise on Jan. 31, 2014. The bank alleges in a civil procedure he's one of three people who conspired to steal $200,000. (Vancouver police)

      Police: RBC link 3 defendants to same IP address

      According to the search warrant information, police arrested Vu at the bank on March 27, 2014. Lau was arrested at his girlfriend's residence later the same day.

      RBC fired them days later.

      In the warrant, police claim an RBC investigation tied Nguyen to the RBC employees through an online banking account that all three accessed using the same IP address.

      The bank is suing for the value of the stolen money. RBC would not comment on the case as it is before the courts.

      No criminal charges have been laid.