The attackers used long and short weapons. The assault called into question the security measures at the air terminal.
The spectacular and daring assault at the Santiago airport this Wednesday ended in frustration, but raised doubts about the security measures at the air terminal and made clear the sophisticated planning to commit the robbery.
“We know that security is a priority for Chileans and when there is insecurity all the rest falters. Today these assaults could be frustrated, but at a very high cost, the cost of human lives,” said President Gabril Bori, quoted by the site Emol.com, alluding to the death of an officer.
The events occurred on Wednesday, when a dozen thieves unsuccessfully tried to take 32.5 million dollars that had just been unloaded from a plane from the United States.
“These assaults could be thwarted, but at a very high cost, the cost of human lives,” Boric said. Photo: Pablo Vera / AFP
“A valued cargo had arrived on a Latam plane from Miami, which had to be withdrawn by the Brinks company, at which time the subjects broke into said place and were repelled by security officials,” said prosecutor Eduardo Baeza, in charge of the investigation.
As a result of the shootout with the attackers, an official from the Civil Aeronautics Directorate (DGAC), identified as Claudio Villar Rodríguez, 45, and one of the criminals, died.
Villar was a volunteer for the Fire Department, where he worked as Mayor of the First Company of the South Metropolitan Fire Department. He lived in La Cisterna and had two children. He was at the airport as a security official, described the Chilean site Emol.
Claudio Villar Rodríguez, firefighter who died at the airport in Chile.
The thieves entered the air terminal in three vehicles at 7:30 in the morning, broke a gate and headed for the cargo area. Surprised, they fled and set fire to two vehicles as they fled on a nearby highway.
In the frustrated robbery, a high level of preparation of the action was evidenced, according to the authorities.
“Criminals arrived with careful planning, violence and high firepower, despite which they were repelled by our officials,” Raúl Jorquera, director of the DGAC, told the press.
The $32.5 million that the thieves hoped to take would have constituted the largest robbery in recent years in the country.
The sub-prefect of the Biro of the PDI (Investigation Police) Agustín Urbina, explained that the assailants used long and short weapons and that the security personnel of the cash transport company were not armed by protocol.
The Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, also explained that “it has been possible to identify two people who could be linked to the facts, that link has not been verified, but they are two people who were admitted injured by ballistic impacts to two care centers of the RM, that they have been identified and it is being verified if they are related to these events”.
Investigators at the scene. Photo: Reuters
In 2014, a cinematographic robbery occurred at the Santiago airport, where a group of thieves made off with more than 10 million dollars, in an event known at the time as “the robbery of the century.”
In 2017, another group of assailants stole nearly 16,000 million pesos from the offices of a value transport company in a Santiago commune, equivalent to about 19 million dollars and considered the largest amount stolen in Chile.
In 2020, heavily armed robbers stole $15 million from an armored truck at the Santiago airport. The robbery occurred in an area of international cargo warehouses in the Chilean capital’s air terminal, where five people armed with rifles and pistols intercepted the armored truck and reduced the guards.
Source: AFP and Emol.com