March 16, 2007

FBI suspects thieves stole $300,000 from airplane

The money bag disappeared while being shipped from Maui to Oahu on Jan. 29

The FBI is investigating the possible theft of a bag containing $300,000 that disappeared while being shipped from Maui to Oahu on Jan. 29.

The money was part of a shipment of cash being transported for Bank of Hawaii by Elyte Pacific Services on an Aloha Airlines passenger flight, said bank spokeswoman Nancy Usui.

FBI spokesman Brandon Simpson confirmed that there is an investigation of the alleged theft.

Usui emphasized that no bank customers are affected by the loss. "The bank does expect to be fully reimbursed by Elyte Pacific Services," she said.

Elyte had no comment on the alleged theft. An Aloha Airlines spokesman said the company is "cooperating fully with authorities on the investigation."

On its Web site, Elyte promotes itself as "experts in ATM management and armored services." It opened its office in Hawaii in 1996 and serves "some of the state's largest financial institutions," the Web site states. Elyte has facilities on Lagoon Drive in Honolulu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island and is licensed by the state Public Utilities Commission.

According to PUC documents, the company has a $5 million liability insurance policy.

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