CRIME

Army of 60 robbers gets away with spectacular heist in Paraguay

A company that provides armed transportation of valuables was targeted in a spectacular robbery that included between 50 and 60 gunmen in the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este.

The amount taken in the Hollywoodesque, three-hour heist was first estimated at $40 million but Prosegur officials said it was much less. The robbers blew open one of three vaults, they said. The remaining two were not accessed.

One police officer was killed and two security guards were wounded. Some civilians also sustained minor injuries.

The violent robbery started around midnight and ended after 3 a.m., neighbors said. It has left the city in a state of panic, especially because none of the robbers has been caught.

Schools were closed Monday.

Ciudad del Este is Paraguay’s second largest city, located in the Triple Border with Brazil and Argentina.

Numerous witnesses said they heard the heavily armed men speaking in Portuguese, leading to speculation that they could be members of the First Command of the Capital (PCC), one of the largest criminal groups in Brazil.

According to reports, the assault was carried out with a wide array of weapons, including AK 47s, C4 explosives, infrared weapons, snipers and even anti-aircraft guns and a helicopter.

Police sources told Ultima Hora the robbers had between five and eight vehicles at their disposal, with which they closed the perimeter in a 600-yard radius almost an hour ahead of time.

The Prosegur headquarters in Ciudad del Este had entered the authorities’ radar in 2015 they found a tunnel running under the building.

"They found an L-shaped tunnel that ran under Prosegur and connected to a house. Two years later, they managed to rob it," said Richard Vera, Paraná's homicide chief, as quoted by El Pais.