In a daring robbery, 20 armed men disguised as Samsung employees invaded a company factory in Brazil on Monday, and stole $36 million worth of merchandise including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more.
According to local media, the gang of criminals hijacked a van carrying employees to work just before midnight, and easily entered the factory located in the south eastern college town of Campinas.
Once inside, the gang overpowered security guards, and took hostage around 100 employees present in the factory, removing the batteries of their cell phones so they couldn’t call the police.
"They subdued the guards, took their weapons and their ammunition and told them to continue working as if nothing had happened," police Lieutenant Vitor Chaves told Globo television. Robbers spent around 3 hours loading the haul of products onto a fleet of 7 trucks, which then split off in different directions. Fortunately, no one was hurt during the ordeal.
Police said that the scale of the theft along with the fact that they knew where to go in the building to gain access to valuable merchandise, indicated thieves had insider help.
Reacting to the incident, Samsung said, “We are very worried about this incident. Fortunately nobody was hurt. We have cooperated fully with the ongoing police investigation and will do our best to avoid any reoccurrence”. The South Korean company said that it's still trying to find out how much money it had lost.
Aside from Samsung, other industry heavyweights like General Electric, Hewlett Packard and Dell also have operations in Campinas. In the last one year, the town, which is also known as the Brazilian Silicon Valley, has witnessed a sharp increase in cargo thefts.