Feeds

Tunnelling Brazilian blaggers lift $63m

Old school heist hits bank hard

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.