Like ants take to sugar, the lure for easy money often drives criminals to banks. At times, even people without any prior criminal record have attempted to try their luck at robbing a bank. Globally, new bank robbery cases emerge every year. The results vary, which can include a trip to the prison, getting shot or spending the rest of your life in hiding. Despite these risks, bank robbers stay persistent with their plans. If you are curious to know more, here’s a quick look at some of the biggest bank robberies of all time.
Banco Central burglary – This occurred in Fortaleza, Brazil in 2005 at the Banco Central branch of the country’s Central Bank. Instead of attacking the bank directly, the robbers used a tunnel to steal R$164,755,150, which is approximately USD 71.6 million. The tunnel was 78 meters (256 ft.) long and covered two city blocks.
Securitas depot robbery – This occurred in Tonbridge, Kent, England in the year 2006. The robbers first abducted the manager and his family and later forced their way into the bank. They were armed with machine gun and AK-47 assault rifles. After subduing and tying up the bank staff, the robbers fled with $83 million in cash.
Knightsbridge Security Deposit robbery – This took place in Cheval Place, Knightsbridge, England in 1987. The robbers entered disguised as normal customers who wanted to rent a safe deposit box. Once inside, the robbers subdued the guards and other employees. They looted most of the safe deposit boxes, which were estimated to be valued at around USD 98 million.
Dar Es Salaam Bank heist – This robbery occurred in Iraq at a private bank named Dar Es Salaam bank in Baghdad. This bank robbery was really surprising for the authorities because the banks own guards were involved in the heist. Investigators had noted that the guards could have been linked to militias in Iraq, who may have helped them to avoid the checkpoints in the city. A total of $282 million in US dollars was stolen from the bank.
Central Bank of Iraq robbery – This was more of a loot by a dictator rather than being a standard robbery. However, since it involved taking out large sums of money from a bank in an unauthorized manner, it can be classified as a bank robbery. This incident happened in 2003, a day before US forces entered Baghdad. Saddam Hussein ordered the Central Bank of Iraq to give $920 million to his son Qusay Hussein. The operation was carried out over a period of five hours and is considered the biggest bank robbery of all time.
Bank robbers and bank robberies are often part of books, TV serials and movies. In many cases, such robberies are glorified. However, in real life, bank robberies can be tragic. There have been several cases where bank robberies have resulted in serious injuries and deaths of robbers as well as law enforcement officials. Bank robberies may look easy in theory, but they can be really messy in real life. It’s better to work hard to earn your bread rather than attempt risking your life and that of others in a bank robbery.