Monday 18 December 2017

Gang pulls off $40m 'robbery of the century'

A truck burned near the headquarters of private security company Prosegur is pictured in Ciudad del Este, eastern Paraguay, after a group of dozens of people carried out an assault with explosives at the site. Photo: Reuters/Francisco Espinola
A truck burned near the headquarters of private security company Prosegur is pictured in Ciudad del Este, eastern Paraguay, after a group of dozens of people carried out an assault with explosives at the site. Photo: Reuters/Francisco Espinola

Harriet Alexander New York

Paraguay's interior minister has fired several police chiefs in the border town of Ciudad del Este after Brazilian bandits staged a brazen cross-border raid described as "the robbery of the century".

Lorenzo Lezcano arrived in the city yesterday to deal with the fallout from the suspected $40m (€36m) heist. An estimated 80 men arrived in the city after midnight on Monday, said Arsenio Correa, chief investigator, and attacked a Prosegur cash storage facility.

The men burnt vehicles to distract police, placed snipers on the roof, and used C4 explosive to blast their way into the vaults.

One police officer, Sabino Ramon Benitez Vazquez, was killed in the raid, and another injured. Three civilians were also hurt. Local media said the vault, which was blown apart in the raid, contained $40m, although Prosegur has not confirmed the sum.

Vladimir Jara, a spokesman for Paraguay's interior ministry, said the robbery was thought to have been carried out by an infamous Brazilian criminal group, the Primeiro Comando da Capital.

Mr Lezcano said he dismissed police chiefs for not "dealing correctly" with information relating to the gang. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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