Authorities in Colombia say bandits stole a small airplane and made off with the equivalent of US$610 000 it was carrying.

Colombia’s civil aviation said armed men confronted three crew members and a guard as the Piper Seneca landed at a small airport in the northeastern city of Aguachica on   Wednesday with a load of Colombian pesos it was carrying for a security company.

The robbers then took off in the plane, which was found later about 10km away, to the south of the city.

Army General Sergio Tafur told local reporters that none of the cash was found on the abandoned plane.

Authorities were searching for the bandits.