The police and the military responded to the incident at a Bank of Scotland branch in Kirkcaldy yesterday amid fears that explosives were involved in the raid.
It is understood the taxi driver was handed an item which made him think his life was in danger, leading him to carry out the robbery. All of the money was eventually recovered, and the man behind the bizarre incident fled the scene.
The robbery took place at around 12.40pm yesterday after the driver picked the man up from the The Avenue in Lochgelly.
Police said the driver was then made to drive to the Bank of Scotland in the Mitchelston Industrial Estate in Kirkcaldy where he was forced to enter the bank and present a note to the staff demanding money.
Police were alerted to the ongoing incident and the possibility of the presence of some form of explosive device.
This resulted in a significant policing response which included police and military specialist resources from across the country, including the police helicopter.
The taxi driver was taken quickly and safely away by local police officers and cordons were put up whilst the area was searched and items examined. This confirmed that no explosives or bombs were present during this incident.
Detective Inspector Charlie Duncan said: “I want to speak to anyone who may have been in the area of the industrial estate in Lochgelly between 12.15pm and 12.40pm yesterday and saw the man who is described as white, 5 foot 6 inches tall, of heavy build and wearing a dark green baseball cap, a dark green scarf, a thick dark blue jacket, tracksuit bottoms and sunglasses. He spoke with a distinctive Eastern European accent.
“I am particularly interested to trace any taxi drivers who may have taken a hire to the Lochgelly area yesterday who matched this description. We are not certain how this individual came to be in that area, but due to the location it is unlikely that he walked there.
“We would also be keen to trace any taxi drivers or members of the public who may have seen a man fitting this description leaving the Kirkcaldy area anytime from 1.30pm following the incident at the bank.”
Superintendent Derek McEwan added: “I would like to offer a reassurance to the public that all actions of the police yesterday were done to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our communities. I would also like to praise the courage and bravery of the taxi driver and staff within the Bank of Scotland who remained calm during this entire incident.
“Officers will be in Kirkcaldy and Lochgelly offering further reassurance and carrying out more enquiries today, and will be available to speak to anyone who has any information which could assist our investigation.”