On August 8, 2005, what appeared to be an ordinary morning for staff at the Central Bank in Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil, turned out to be anything but. Authorities were able to figure out how a band of criminals pulled off the country’s greatest theft at the time after discovering a hole in the bank’s vault.
The three-part Netflix docuseries ‘Great Robbery of Brazil’s Central Bank‘ follows the extraordinarily complex investigation and eventual arrests. So, how about we figure out who was behind it and how much money was lost?
Who Was The Mastermind In Brazil’s Central Bank Robbery
When the robbery was detected, officials discovered the meticulous planning that had gone into it. The group had rented a residence approximately a block away on a street parallel to the bank around three months before.
The group began excavating an underground tunnel 4 metres below the ground and over 80 metres from the bank after establishing a front business and registering it.
The tunnel was around 70 cm wide and extended all the way up to the vault’s reinforced concrete floor. Electric lights were employed for illumination, and a pipe connected to an air conditioner was used for ventilation.
Aside from that, wood and plastic were used to reinforce the tunnel. The robbery occurred over the weekend, and the security cameras and motion sensors were not operational at the time.
Because they only stole used currency, the crime was methodically organised, and the suspects knew exactly what they wanted. They were unable to be traced since their sequences were not recorded.
The money was placed in bags and subsequently transported to various locations. It was evident that such a crime would necessitate financial support and past robbery experience; renting the location, purchasing equipment, and planning to construct a tunnel all implied that numerous individuals were engaged.
The robbery was subsequently traced to three primary perpetrators: Antônio Jussivan Alves dos Santos, nicknamed Alemo, Luis Fernando Ribeiro aka Fernandinho, and Moises Teixeira da Silva, who was thought to have orchestrated everything.
Alemo and Fernandinho, particularly Fernandinho, were revealed to be the key financial backers on the show. The money was needed to rent the house, purchase equipment, and pay expenses in the beginning.
Fernandinho was a drug trafficker and a member of the PCC, a Brazilian mafia group. He made millions by assisting in the financing of the entire business. Moises was a convicted bank robber who was accused of carrying out a similar crime in 2004.
In 2001, he escaped from prison. Moises and Alemo were eventually apprehended, while Fernandinho was slain two months after the robbery. The investigators were able to identify 34 men who were involved in the heist.
How Much Money Was Stolen in Dollars? What Was the Total Amount Recovered?
The gang of criminals got off with a total of 164.8 million reals ($22) in 50 real bills, weighing more than 3 tonnes. It is one of the world’s largest heists, with a value of 164.8 million reals (about $70 million).
The authorities’ coordinated efforts eventually resulted in the recovery of around 32.5 million reals. This includes 20 million reals in cash and 12.5 million reals in seized assets auctioned off.
However, according to the show, the cops were unable to collect all of the money since much of it had been spent or laundered by the robbers. When the cops were after them, they had purchased a number of assets.