A shooting at Santiago de Chile International Airport left two people dead on Wednesday as part of a thwarted robbery attempt. The shots were fired in a confrontation between a gang of criminals, initially consisting of 10 attackers in three trucks, and security guards. The prosecutor’s office in the capital reported that the deceased was a 45-year-old agent of the General Directorate of Civil Aeronautics of Chile, who was also a volunteer in the fire department, and one of the attackers. The gang attempted to steal $32 million that was in a Brinks’ cash truck at a dump station. The money was stored in 25 bags and came from a commercial flight from Miami, US.
Deputy Governor Agustín Urbina, of the Robbery Investigation Brigade, reported that the attackers used handguns and rifles. After the shooting, the criminals fled, and minutes later, two burning cars were found One kilometer from Arturo Merino Benitez Airport in the municipality of Budahiel. They are still investigating whether they match the vehicles captured by the airport security cameras.
Two trucks entered the terminal where the money was located, and the third was between the guard’s cabin and the place where the confrontation took place. The Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, described the gang as “highly organized and well armed” and that it had, for sure, carried out a “highly planned” operation.
At approximately 8 am, the criminals tied up, beat and took away a firearm from the guard at the security booth at the airport entrance. Then, in vans, they went to one of the airport’s unloading stations, where a Latam plane had arrived from Miami with the money and a truck of valuables with the suitcases that it was responsible for transporting to three banks in the capital. Monsalve added that they have identified two people who may have been linked to the assault: “This link has not been verified, but they are two people admitted for ballistic trauma injuries at two care facilities in the D.C. area.” The authorities are investigating his alleged involvement in the incident.
Raul Jorqueira, General of the Air Force of the Armed Forces, met this morning with Carolina Toha, Minister of the Interior, and Maya Fernandez, Minister of Defence. “Several security measures need to be reconsidered,” Jorqueira noted.
The shooting comes amid a security crisis in the South American country, where feelings of insecurity are at a two-decade high. President Gabriel Borik, in an action to mark International Women’s Day, lamented the facts. “We will tirelessly persecute those who endanger the lives of citizens,” the president said. “I want to show my solidarity and send a big hug to the DGAC official’s family. We know that security is a priority for the men and women of Chile, and when there is insecurity all the rest gets stuck.”
The thwarted heist repeats what happened on August 12, 2014, when a group of individuals disguised as security guards managed to steal about eight million dollars from a truck parked in the cargo area of Santiago Airport, Chile. The process is named Theft of the century.
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