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Archive for Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Alleged gang leader in $70M robbery arrested

February 27, 2008

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— Police arrested the alleged leader of a gang that stole $70 million from a Brazilian bank in what was then the world's biggest heist, authorities said Tuesday.

Jossivam Alves dos Santos was detained Monday in a tire shop in the city of Tabatinga near Brazil's capital, federal inspector Celso Antonio Bandeira de Mello said.

Police said Santos led the August 2005 robbery in the northern city of Fortaleza, where thieves tunneled 260 feet to reach the vault of a Brazilian bank.

Authorities seized assets belonging to Santos including a mansion and several gas stations, Mello said, bringing the total recovered to about $30 million at today's exchange rates.

It was the world's biggest robbery until more than $90 million was stolen from a London security warehouse last year.

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