Armed Men Steal $40 Million of Gold, Metals From Brazil Airport

July 26, 2019 Updated: July 26, 2019

SAO PAULO—Armed men stole $40 million of gold and other precious metals on Thursday, July 25, from a Sao Paulo cargo terminal at South America’s busiest airport, taking two hostages, police said.

Several of the suspects arrived at the Guarulhos airport in a black pickup truck with livery resembling Brazil’s federal police, according to security footage seen by Reuters.

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Four men left the vehicle with their faces covered, at least one of whom had a rifle, and confronted workers at the airport, who then proceeded to fill up the pickup truck with cargo.

A police report said the thieves left with about 750 kg (1,650 lbs) of gold and other precious metals, along with two airport workers taken as hostages, and remained at large.

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A view of pickup trucks with livery resembling Brazil’s federal police inside the DEIC (State Criminal Investigation Department), which were used by the thieves during the theft at Guarulhos airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 25, 2019. (Nacho Doce/Reuters)

An airport spokeswoman said no one was hurt during the assault, but did not comment on potential hostages.

The airport is operated by GRU Airport, a consortium that includes Invepar, Airports Company South Africa, and state airport operator Infraero.

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Aerial view from the Guarulhos airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 25, 2019. (Still Image from video via Reuters)

According to Brazil’s Federal Highway Police, the thieves may have had access to internal information about airport operations.

In April this year, armed robbers stole a large cash haul from Albania’s Tirana International Airport, seizing money destined for Vienna from an Austrian Airlines plane. One of the gunmen was shot to death during a police chase, while a further four were arrested.

By Leonardo Benassatto and Marcelo Rochabrun

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.

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