Robbery on the Central Bank of Brazil in Fortaleza is one of the biggest robberies in history

The robbery to the Central Bank of Brazil in Fortaleza is one of the biggest robberies in history to this day. Between 6 and 7 of August 2005, thieves robbed the Central Bank(Banco Central) of Brazil in Fortaleza, at the state of Ceará and the fact was only noticed in the early hours on Monday August 8. It was the second largest bank robbery in the world. The excavation to make the tunnel that led to the invasion took about three months. The robbery is to this day not solved since there are still people being searched by the police. The stunt was featured on a movie called Assalto ao Banco Central that can be watched completely on Youtube.

The well dug into the Central Bank of Fortaleza

The assault was made on a weekend, while the bank was closed. In May, the gang rented a house to open a company that commercialized synthetic grass. The robbers began to dig a tunnel 78 m long, 70 cm high and 4 feet deep, whose last part was a well that was crossing the 1 meter thickness floor of massive concrete. The tunnel was lined with canvas and fully anchored with wooden beams to prevent landslides; had air – conditioning and electric lighting system. The soil is typical of sandy Fortaleza, easy to dig, and the gang had a map to avoid underground pipes. Burglars had a map of the underground city, engineering expertise, and apparently aid of someone who worked at the bank. Moreover, they had also a flexible route of escape to  difficult the investigations. Even today, it is known that the recovered money (only $ 20 million) was left on purpose by the robbers in order to gain more time to manage the rest.


Above, watch the movie on Youtube.

The planning of the action

Three months earlier, the band rented the  house No 1071 on Rua 25 de Março Street , in downtown Fortaleza, lying one block of the building of the Central Bank. The house was fully characterized as a company that produced natural and synthetic grass. Neighbors estimated the group consisted of something between 6 and 10 people that went out every day on cars loaded with earth but understood that it was something normal for that area of ​​activity. The tunnel was built with wooden beams and lined with canvas. He also had power over any path with lighting, ventilation and air conditioning system. It is believed to have been used primarily picks and shovels but without a jackhammer it would be difficult to cross the floor of the Bank. At a depth of 4 meters and with only 70cm wide at the end the tunnel reached the mark of 80 meters in length , crossing the Duque de Caxias Avenue toward the Central Bank.


Above, a video investigation from OGlobo shows the amazing investigation works on the case, one of the biggest in Brazil.

The execution

The map shows the house used for the robbery and the distance to the central bank
The map shows the house used for the robbery and the distance to the central bank.

Over the weekend the gang crossed the 1.10 meters floor of concrete reinforced with steel to enter the vault. No alarm was triggered, there was no record in the security cameras that were not recording but only filming. One of the main cameras was already blocked by a forklift. The approximate weight of the notes was three and a half tons and only ballots with damage, intended for incineration, were taken. This detail was probably their biggest mistake.
The money was loaded through the tunnel in basins pulled by ropes on a pulley system. Upon leaving the house, a white powder was spread erasing fingerprints. The money was initially transported by vans that were soon abandoned.

The Suspects
The total number of suspected involvement is more than a hundred people. The following people are suspected of being part of the central band:
Anselmo Oliveira Magalhaes, murdered.
Jussivan Antonio Alves Santos(Alemão), under arrest.
Antônio Reginaldo de Araújo, under arrest.
Fernando Pereira de Carvalho (Fernandinho), fugitive.
Jorge Luis da Silva (Mineiro), under arrest.
Luis Fernando Ribeiro (Fê), murdered.
Marcos Rogerio Machado Society (Rogério Gobber), fugitive.
Laurindo Raimundo Barbosa Neto, under arrest.

Sources: http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assalto_ao_Banco_Central_do_Brasil_em_Fortaleza
http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assalto_ao_Banco_Central
San Antonio Car Wreck Lawyer
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4133388.stm

http://www.terra.com.br/noticias/infograficos/assalto-ao-banco-central/ <- Detailed infographich about the robbery

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Joe Cloud
Dutch, American, Brazilian... lived there for 5 years and owns property in Brazil. Out of the country for a few years now and would like to go back, however current circumstances tell me it's not the right time.