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Gang spent four months digging 500 metre-long tunnel to steal £240m in 'biggest bank heist in the world'

Mirror logo Mirror 05-10-2017 Kara O'Neill
Credits: REX/Shutterstock © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: REX/Shutterstock

The ‘biggest bank heist in the world’ was foiled after police arrested a gang who spent four months tunnelling into the Bank of Brazil’s vault to steal £240 million (AUD$405m).

Sixteen men have been arrested after officers discovered the 500 metre-long tunnel running beneath the streets in southern Sao Paulo.

Police in the city had been monitoring the gang, but were forced to move in on Wednesday September 27, when the tunnel reached completion.

If successful, the heist would have been the biggest bank robbery in history, according to local news reports.

The gang did not gain access to the safe, but did make it into the shell of the vault.

Credits: REUTERS

Credits: REUTERS
© Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

It appears they had estimated to get away with $317 million.

Lead investigator Fábio Pinheiro Lopes said on Monday: “The gang’s investment was in the range of 4 million real (US$1.27 million), they said, each of the participants put in 200,000 real (US$6,340) and their estimate was to take 1 billion real.

It would have been the biggest assault in the world.”

Lopes confirmed that “almost everyone” was arrested.

The men had used pieces of wood and iron bars to support the tunnel, which was big enough for a grown adult to stand up in.

The tunnel started under a rented house near Chácara Santo Antonio which was stocked with food and tools, according to .

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