Feeds

Tunnelling Brazilian blaggers lift $63m

Old school heist hits bank hard

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Those readers who lament the inexorable rise of hands-off cybercrime - Nigerian 419 fraud, phishing scams, ID theft, etc etc - at the expense of old school blags where blokes called Ronnie cosh the driver of the London-Glasgow mail train and leg it with £2.6m hotly pursued by geezers named Jack driving Ford Granadas who answer the query "Fag, guv?" with a perfunctory "Shut it, George", will be delighted to learn that a gang of subterranean Brazilians is once again flying the flag for bunce-hungry firms worldwide.

Staff who arrived for work at a branch of the Central Bank in the northeastern state of Ceara on Monday morning were rather surprised to discover that an estimated six to ten ne'er-do-wells had spent three months tunnelling 260ft from a rented house, had broken through the reinforced floor of the vault and made off with no less than 156 million reais or $68m or £38m or, if you prefer, €55m.

Whichever way you count the swag, that's an awful lot of black balaclavas, classic Jags and sawn-off shooters. It's Brazil biggest-ever heist, and easily tops the modest £30m in today's wonga with which the Great Train Robbers temporarily made merry back in 1963.

Police investigator Francisco Queiroga summed it up quite nicely when he told Reuters by phone: "It's something you see in the movies. They dug a tunnel that goes underneath two [city] blocks. They've been digging for three months."

Indeed, the tunnel was apparently reinforced with timber and equipped with electric light and, to add extra spice to this tale of top-notch villainy, the gang broke into the vault without setting off motion sensors presumably installed to warn the authorities of large numbers of old lags breaking through the floor of said vault.

We can only hope that - having done the donkey work - the Boys from the Bank in Brazil do not make the same mistake which proved the downfall of Ronnie Biggs and his chums. Having relieved the Royal Mail of a considerable quantity of wedge, they then went to ground in a farmhouse, subsequently leaving considerable fingerprint evidence for the pursuing Sweeney. As Jack Regan legendarily put it: "Get your trousers on, you're knicked." ®

Related stories

Mobile fingers UK's thickest armed robber
Banks brace for cashpoint attack
Time employee robs bank

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
WRISTJOB LOVE BONANZA: justWatch sex app promises blind date hookups
Mankind shuffles into the future, five fingers at a time
Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen
Angry Microsoftie hauls auctioneers to court over stalled Pzkw. IV 'deal'
Apple's Mr Havisham: Tim Cook says dead Steve Jobs' office has remained untouched
'I literally think about him every day' says biz baron's old friend
Flaming drone batteries ground commercial flight before takeoff
Passenger had Something To Declare, instead fiddled while plane burned
Cops apologise for leaving EXPLOSIVES in suitcase at airport
'Canine training exercise' SNAFU sees woman take home booming baggage
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.