Brazil: Amid rising criminality in Brazil, Sunday saw five gang members armed with rifles wage through the Viracopos international airport and with seeming ease drive off with USD 5 million in cash.
Using cars that were re-painted to resemble airport security, the gang rushed through the gates and into the cargo section of the airport where they attacked two security guards and “stuffed them into a van,” the Washington Post reported.
They then drove up to a Lufthansa plane as employees were loading bags of money into an armoured vehicle and drove off with the cash even before the police could arrive. No one has been arrested.
"Everyone who passes through the Viracopos Airport is at the mercy of thugs," Alberto Carvalho, a director at the National Union of Airport Workers said.
He further reiterated several instances of abductions and muggings, adding that the airport along with the nearby highway and its surroundings in general, remain particularly unsafe. "The airport is completely unprepared to deal with these risks," Carvalho said.
Transporting goods in Brazil has become increasingly dangerous in lieu of an impending crime wave which stands at an astonishing 10, 500 cargo thefts in 2017 in Sao Paolo according to state figures. This has led to companies sending shipments by plane.
The heist on Sunday is rare in so far as the amount is concerned, however it points toward the rise of organized crime which has become a national problem for Brazil.