Investigators looking into a Sliema kiosk robbery believe it could have been an inside job, as the perpetrators not only knew the exact time and day when to strike but also had a safe key with them.

The two hooded men "who had a foreign accent" even locked the safe before fleeing, sources close to the investigation told Times of Malta

Several thousand euro was stolen from Mason’s Bistro in G─žar Id-Dud on Monday at around 4.30am. However, the case only came to light three hours later when a member of the staff opened the kiosk for business and found a watchman lying unconscious on the floor.

It transpired that the man, a 40-year-old Pakistani national, had been gagged by the robbers after being threatened with a gun. Though the incident was captured on CCTV, the perpetrators could not be identified as their faces were covered.

'They waited then assaulted him'

Sources said the watchman was trusted by the kiosk owner, as he had recently caught a person red-handed while trying to steal some cakes which were on display.

He said that the thieves were very familiar with the kiosk and its surroundings.

“They waited for the watchman to exit the kiosk from a steel backdoor and while taking out some items they forced their way in, and assaulted him,” he added.

The perpetrators knew exactly where the safe was and did not need to force it to gain access, as they had a key.

While investigators are yet to make any major inroads in the case, the evidence so far indicates that whoever was behind the theft was very well informed.

"The fact that the theft was carried out between Sunday and Monday was highly indicative as it shows that the thieves had been tipped off that on this particular day of the week the safe would contain a big sum of money," the source said.