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Brazilian Gang Watches Goodfellas, Robs Lufthansa Flight of $5 Million

Brazilian Gang Watches Goodfellas, Robs Lufthansa Flight of $5 Million


Inspired by a Hollywood film, a Brazilian gang robbed the cargo section of Viracopos Airport, 60 miles outside Sao Paulo in a move worthy of the Goodfellas, according to the Washington Post.

According to police, five rifle-wielding gang members driving vans painted to resemble security vehicles tore through gates en route to the cargo portion of the airport. Once there, the gang tied up two security officers in the van before arriving just in time to steal bags of cash that Lufthansa employees were loading into a plane. The bandits then made off with $5 million in cash before the police arrived. No arrests have been made.

Alberto Carvalho, a director at the National Union of Airport Workers, says that this isn’t the first time that an armed robbery has occurred in the area. The highway leading to the airport has been the location of many criminal activities and Carvalho says that the airport is an easy target for thugs, as security and police are completely unable to deal with it.

This Hollywood movie style theft is the latest in a crime wave that has been sweeping through Brazil in recent years. Many companies have avoided shipping on the highways and roads that go through the country because of the high number of robberies that have taken place. Instead, more companies are opting to ship cargo via planes. But it seems as though armed bandits have taken a new angle on that as well.

The president of the South American country has already had the military take over security in Rio. But this brazen robbery shows that crime isn’t limited to just Rio. Renato Sérgio de Lima, president of the Brazilian Forum on Public Security says that crime, including organized crime, has reached national proportions and that the military intervention in Rio is clearly not enough.


View Comments (2)


  1. Mama

    April 17, 2018 at 12:37 am

    Why did the Lufthansa employees load 5 million$ cash to the plane? How did the robbers know exactly this plane was being loaded with so much cash, instead of regular cargo items. It’s pretty obvious the robbers had insider info.

  2. stanscan

    April 18, 2018 at 11:20 am

    To whom did the money belong and why isn’t this detailed in the story? Who exactly was importing this much cash and who was robbed here? Even worse (from the perspective of a lack of journalism), why would anyone transport this type of cash this way? If it is “clean, legal” money, then it could be transferred across international borders with a mouse click (or three). Was the money in USD, BRL, EUR, a mix, or something else? The story (and the source in the WaPo) talks much more about the deteriorating security situation in Brazil than the heist. What’s happened to telling the who, what, when, where, and why in a news story like this?

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