Brazilian police recovers US$5.4 million stolen from Central Bank

Brazilian police recovered about US$5.4 million of the US$70 million stolen in a heist from Brazil's Central Bank, one of the world's biggest bank robberies.

Authorities on Wednesday raided a home in the northeastern city of Fortaleza where the bank heist occurred and found the money hidden in a hole in the floor, federal police said in a statement.

Five suspects were taken into custody, police spokeswoman Patricia Ferreira said. Three other suspects were arrested eight days ago.

The thieves spent months tunneling under a busy city avenue in Fortaleza, a city about 1,500 (2,400 kilometers) miles northeast of Sao Paulo, to break into the Central Bank vault and steal the equivalent of US$70 million in Brazilian currency, the real.

More than US$2 million in cash was recovered shortly after the heist inside three pickup trucks found on a vehicle transporter several hundred miles from Fortaleza.

Police said the suspects arrested Wednesday were being monitored for about a month.

While the amount taken from the bank last month surpassed the US$65 million stolen in 1987 from the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Center in London, once recognized by experts as the biggest robbery, it was still less than US$900 million in U.S. bills along with US$100 million worth of euros stolen from the Iraq Central Bank in 2003, reports the AP.


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