Thieves Made Off With $10M From Santiago Airport

18th Aug 2014

‚ÄčThe daring daylight heist has been tagged as Chile's largest robbery in the nation's history. The bandits were able to carry out the assault in just less than 3 minutes, which emptied the van of its $10 million cash.

The bold act by the robbers even on a broad daylight in an airport has brought to light the level of security measures at the country's airports.

Early Tuesday morning last month, at about 5 a.m., when the workers started to unload the cash from the Brinks security van, eight hooded men armed with high-powered weapons opened fire at the workers. It was reported that the men arrived at the airport much earlier than 5 a.m. dressed in airport personnel uniform to avoid detection.

The money was going to be flown to Copiapo in northern Chile for the banks and mining operations in the area.

The Chilean Aviation Directory (DGAC) is in charge of the security operations in the country's airports, which only deploys civilian security, not police personnel as usually found in many airports around the world.

The civil aviation doesn't allow all types of weapons inside the airport. Even the deployment of police personnel to secure the facility is prohibited. As a result, the van's armed escort was restricted to a building outside the airport and an unarmed guard was the only one allowed to accompany the van. This gave an easy way for the armed robbers to perform the assault.

The men made a hasty exit to the north of the airport, even dropping nails on their trail to avoid a chase. The state prosecutor has already conducted an investigation and even suspected that the robbers must have accomplices inside the airport who have thorough knowledge about the transport of money on that particular time and date, judging on the crime's speedy and well-coordinated operation which only lasted in less than 3 minutes. They didn't even discount the possibility of the involvement of Brinks.

Mahmud Aleuy, the country's Undersecretary of the Interior, expressed his frustration on the airport's security policy and demanded answers from DGAC, Chilean police, and even Brinks. He was planning to implement changes to the current security protocol inside the airport.

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