BRAZIL has been rocked by two shocking bank robberies over two days using similar tactics on either side of the vast country.
Experts say the heists were part of a wave of ‘New Cangaco’ crimes, referring to the old school banditry of the 1920s and 30s in the South American state. The crimes are characterised by their levels of violence, planning, and coordination though as of yet there is no suggestion the groups behind these recent robberies are linked. The criminals usually target small to medium cities.
On Tuesday in the northern city of Criciuma, heavily armed gunmen entered the town centre in a convoy of cars. While robbing a branch of Banco do Brasil, they fired hundreds of rounds of ammunition and torched a tunnel on the main road to prevent security reinforcements. They also attacked the city’s police headquarters and set off explosives. Footage from the heist’s aftermath shows locals scrambling for scattered bank notes left behind by the robbers. A security guard and a military police officer were reported wounded.
The following night in Camera, in the far south of Brazil, an almost identical robbery occurred. The thieves also targeted a Banco do Brasil outlet, with local politician Eder Mauro posting photos of the criminals leading a procession of hostages along the streets, one of whom was ‘shot in the head’. The thieves fled the city first in a car convoy then on a boat along the Tocantins River.
Brazil’s staggering crime rate continues to rise, with over 40,000 homicides reported in 2019 alone.
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