Authorities suspect the criminal gang PCC committed the $40 million robbery on the Paraguay-Brazil border on Monday morning. In the early dawn, about 30 heavily armed men stormed the high-security company Prosegur in Ciudad del Este. The gang exploded the safes, blocked the roads, and lit vehicles on fire. Federal investigators believe organized crime such as the PCC to be behind the attack because of the precise professionalism and high-intensity artillery involved.
They also blasted public buildings with machine guns and assault rifles, leaving the city in a complete state of terror. In the confusion, the criminals were able to escape north on five trucks loaded with artillery.
The robbery left 3 dead and went down in history as the largest crime ever experienced by Brazil’s smaller neighbor. Authorities have detained at least four suspects in the case as of yet. Both sides of the Ponte da Amizade (Bridge of Friendship), which constitutes the border between the two countries, have temporarily closed. The bridge connects Ciudad del Este with Foz do Aguaçu, in Paraná, southern Brazil.
Locals posted pictures of the disastrous remains such as the one below.
A criminal distraction
Moreover, the gang may have used the high-intensity robbery as a distraction from a major prison break attempt. On Monday, the government deployed elite police forces to the Presidente Prudente prison holding the PCC leader, Marcos Willians Herba Camacho. Also known as “Marcola”, he resides in a reinforced security regime within the prison (RDD) alongside 12 other gang leaders.
According to the civil police investigations, the gang intended to use the same explosive tactics in their leader’s escape plan as in the Paraguay-Brazil robbery. At least 30 lawyers were involved in the strategy to launder money for financing the escape operation.