Roxbury heist target handles cash for African immigrants


The Roxbury money exchange business targeted in Tuesday’s gunpoint robbery of $420,000 in cash has outlets across the country and caters to African immigrants, according to its website and state records.

As the Herald reported yesterday, employees heading home from the Tremont Street branch of Dahabshil Inc. were held up on Cedar Street at 5:40 p.m. The stacks of bills they were carrying — stuffed into a silver suitcase — were stolen, police reported.

Police reported they tracked down three suspects and recovered all the money less than five hours later.

A man answering the phone at Dahabshil Inc.’s headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, told the Herald last night it’s “not normal” for employees to drive around with that much money.

As for the heist, he added Boston police told him the case is “still under investigation.” The man, who declined to give his name, said the company has “taken the necessary steps” to alert employees to what happened.

“We’re like Western Union, we’re a money transmitter,” the man added. “We don’t have any more information about what happened.”

Dahabshil Inc. is listed as a foreign corporation that registered with the state in July 1998, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The company’s website says it “facilitates the transfer of money for immigrant communities and Non-Governmental Aid Agencies … in alliance with Dahabshil PVT Somalia.”

The company offers services in cities in Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti, the website states.

The local office is located next to Roxbury Crossing. There was a sign on the door yesterday telling customers the business was closed because of technical issues. A man answering the phone number listed on the sign declined comment.

The three arrested in connection with Tuesday’s case are: Adnan Tahlil, 23, of Roxbury, charged with armed robbery, receiving stolen property, and drug possession. His bail was set at $75,000; Lee Harvey, 24, of Dorchester, charged with receiving stolen property and held on $50,000 bail; and Merih Tekleghiorghis, 25, of Brookline, charged with receiving stolen property. His bail was set at $5,000.

Joe Dwinell contributed to this report.


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