The attempted theft of more than $32 million in cash from a plane departing from Miami, according to authorities, resulted in the deaths of a security guard and an alleged robber in a shootout at Chile’s capital airport on Wednesday.
Latam Airlines’ aircraft was carrying $32.5 million in cash that was being transferred to an armored truck when about 10 heavily armed robbers managed to get past security measures and reach the runway, according to Interior Subsecretary Manuel Monsalve.
An employee of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, or DGAC, as well as an alleged attacker were killed in a shootout between the would-be robbers and security personnel.
The other thieves ran away. Later, two burned-out cars were discovered close by.
“Monsalve noted that the would-be robbers were “highly organized” and “very armed,” adding that the courageous action by the DGAC officials prevented the robbery.
In a video shared on social media, a Delta plane that was parked next to the Latam plane that was attacked appeared to have bullet holes. Another video appears to capture a scene during the shootout where there are audible sounds of many gunshots.
“Passengers posed no risk, according to DGAC chief Raul Jorquera.
The $32.5 million that was supposed to be transferred to an armored truck and then distributed to various banks in the South American nation was the target of the attempted heist.
The robbery attempt “will undoubtedly prompt us to revise necessary processes and protocols. It makes us reevaluate a lot of things, Jorquera said.
The airport in the nation’s capital had previously been targeted. Six years after a similar $10 million heist, thieves stole about $15 million from an airport warehouse in 2020.
In a speech on Wednesday, President Gabriel Boric mentioned the heist and stated that “When there is uncertainty, everything sways.
According to recent polls, a rise in violent crime has contributed to a drop in Boric’s popularity.