Brazilian bandits unleashed a heist worth an estimated $40 million in Ciudad del Este border town on Monday morning hours. Reports indicate that the group of armed men was armed using grenades, machine guns, and explosives. The heinous crime claimed the life of one policeman and another one who was injured. Three civilians were also wounded in the attack on the Prosegur cash-storage facility.
A statement released by Prosegur revealed that the 30-odd attackers arrived at the site around midnight on Sunday and held the vault under siege for three hours. The men are said to have been armed with war-like equipment.
The bandits set cars on fire as residents trembled in their homes. One of the witnesses identified as Alejandro Anisimoff, who lives opposite the Prosegur vault, revealed that he was not sure if he was going to make it from the situation alive.
The witness revealed that they were just about to go to bed when they heard a noise, and went to look upstairs from their balcony. They then saw two trucks arrive with lots of people who weren't police. The witness called the police and was advised to lie face-down on the ground, under their bed.
The devastation inside Anisimoff’s house was just overwhelming. The explosions sent plaster and roof tiles cascading inside. Some witnesses also revealed that they heard Portuguese being spoken, giving rise to suspicions among locals that the thieves had come across the border from neighboring Brazil.
The Spokesman for Paraguay’s interior ministry, Vladimir Jara, revealed that they too believe the robbery was carried out by a Brazilian criminal organization. Surprisingly, no suspects thought to be directly involved in the heist have so far been detained.
The city, which is on the triple frontier between Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, has gained a hostile reputation for violence linked to drug trafficking. It’s also home to 320,000 people, due to its location, cocaine from Bolivia flows down the river, before being distributed into the large Brazilian and Argentine metropolises.
The Iguazu waterfall is one of the tourist’s attractions in the area, it is one of the largest in the world. However, the majority of the tourists prefer to reside on the Argentine or Brazilian side of the border due to the security concerns in the Paraguayan city.