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Three men were arrested Sunday after staging a daring daylight robbery in the Cashier’s Cage of the Atlantis Casino.

According to police reports, the men, ages 24, 30 and 31, sprayed the area with a noxious substance before attempting to steal money.

Kerzner International (Atlantis’ parent company) confirmed that 16 of its employees had been taken to hospital as a precautionary measure and for exposure to pepper spray.

The incident occurred around midday Sunday.

The Journal understands that the men entered the Cashier’s Cage area through Murray’s Deli’s roof.

Kerzner International Managing Director George Markantonis said he was pleased with the response from Atlantis security, the police and emergency services to the situation and he assured that at no time were the hotel’s guests in any danger.

“Our guests were not involved; this happened in an all associate area,” he said. “Our guests, of course, noticed when we took some of our staff to the hospital for precautionary measures and we have reassured them that we have very sophisticated internal and external communication systems and we have reassured them that this is nothing for them to worry about.”

“Obviously it’s a disappointment whenever we have any kind of crime in Nassau and particularly when we have it at a tourist hotspot, but I think we have done a great job of containing it.”

The incident has sparked speculation that the perpetrators were employees of Atlantis; however, Mr. Markantonis declined to comment on the investigation, which he said is now in the hands of police.

He also downplayed concerns of future robbery attempts at the Paradise Island luxury resort and Mr. Markantonis warned would-be thieves that Atlantis is the wrong target.

“When you’ve got something as big and successful as Atlantis you might be vulnerable to attack,” he said. Now to be honest I think there are hells of a lot easier targets. You’ve really got to be a confident crook to come over here.”

Police attributed the quick action taken by Atlantis security personnel who placed the area on lockdown and apprehended the three suspects for foiling Sunday’s brazen robbery attempt.

Police also reported that after conducting a search of the establishment a bag containing an undisclosed amount of money was found hidden in the ceiling.

Prime Minister Perry Christie briefly commented on the incident as he spoke to reporters outside a Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) event at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel Sunday afternoon.

Mr. Christie said the incident, while unfortunate, demonstrates that crime will not be tolerated.

“The mere thought that a couple of young Bahamians would have thought of the idea to rob the casino is bad in itself but happily again the results were that they were caught and they were not successful and that ought to tell people that it is very very difficult if not impossible to get away with such a stupid decision,” he said.

Police have mounted an intensive investigation in to this incident.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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