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.