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Chile: 2 killed in attempted heist at Santiago airport

Deutsche Welle 3/9/2023 Deutsche Welle

Authorities said one alleged robber and one security official have been killed in a shootout in the Chilean capital. The robbers were "heavily armed," according to authorities.Two people were killed at an airport in Chilean capital Santiago following an alleged heist attempt on Wednesday.

The two dead were a security officer and an alleged robber.

Authorities said that this was an attempted heist of more than $32 million (E30 million) in cash aboard a Latam Airlines aircraft from Miami.

The money was to be transferred to an armored truck and then distributed to several banks in Chile.

What else do we know about the attempted heist?

Around 10 heavily armed robbers reached the runway at the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport, Interior Subsecretary Manuel Monsalve said.

There was a shootout between the robbers and security officials of Chile's civil aviation authority (DGAC).

Having been thwarted, the rest of the robbers fled and set fire to two of their vehicles on a highway nearby. The robbers remain at large and a manhunt is under way.

"The brave action by [security] officials frustrated the robbery," Monsalve said. He noted that the robbers were "highly organized" and "heavily armed."

Video posted on social media appeared to show bullet holes in a Delta plane that was parked next to the targeted aircraft.

DGAC chief Raul Jorquera said that the robbers entered through a "point far from routine aeronautical activity," after which security was alerted.

"There was no risk to passengers," he said.

Action needed to prevent a repeat

The attempted heist "will undoubtedly lead us to revise processes, protocols that must be improved," Jorquera said. "It forces us to rethink many things."

President Gabriel Boric said of the attempted robbery: "We know that security is a problem and when there's insecurity, everything else wobbles."

Boric vowed that his government would work to find and prosecute those responsible for violent crimes in Chile.

The airport in Santiago was also targeted in 2020, when thieves stole some $15 million from a warehouse at the facilities.

sdi/jsi (AP, EFE, dpa, Reuters, AFP)

Copyright 2023 DW.COM, Deutsche Welle. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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