Banco Central Robbery 2005

Brief Summary:

The Banco Central heist in Brazil is arguably one of the most creative heists in history.  The robbers were able to steal almost $70 million dollars by tunneling below the bank that spanned over 250 feet.  But how were they able to tunnel below the bank without being caught?  They posed as a landscaping business.  Not only did they dig a tunnel, they were able to connect lighting and an air conditioning system to the tunnel so that they could rob in comfort.  The tunnel took 3 months to make and authorities say it was clear the team comprised mathematical skill and advanced tools. Some suspects have been apprehended – but not all – and to this day the police have only been able to recover $9 million.


Only a few suspects have been caught and most of the money is gone so the mystery can have all the facts of the crime  with the mystery of who stole it and where the money is.  


Banco Central at Fortaleza


- 43 suspects

- 5 suspects arrested

- On January 28, 2007 Márcio Rafael Pierre, another of the alleged masterminds, was arrested in São Paulo. On April 19, also in São Paulo, a suspect named Edson Pereira de Queiroz was arrested.

Evidence to be Used:

A prepaid phone card was found inside the tunnel. The Federal Police located the cell phone associated with it and had it wiretapped. On September 1, 2006 a special operation named "Operação Facção Toupeira" (Operation Mole Faction) was started, leading the police to arrest 43 people suspect of involvement on the heist including one of the alleged masterminds, and recovering R$ 275,100 in cash.

Five men were arrested on September 28, 2005 with about R$ 5.22 million of the money and told the police they had helped dig the tunnel. Eighteen suspects remain at large. Prosecutors have said the group tried unsuccessfully to charter a small plane days before the robbery to escape and move the money out of the country.


Person investigating the crime


"Everybody Be Cool! The 10 Biggest Bank Robberies Ever." TheRichest The Worlds Most Entertaining Site Everybody Be Cool The 10 Biggest Bank Robberies Ever Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.

"Banco Central Burglary at Fortaleza." - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.

"The World's Biggest Bank Raid: The Gold Diggers." The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 2 Aug. 2006. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

By: Ben Manley

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