'Mega-Robbery' In Paraguay: Dozens Reportedly Took Part In Violent Heist

'Mega-Robbery' In Paraguay: Dozens Reportedly Took Part In Violent Heist

Twelve men suspected of taking part in a dramatic, multimillion-dollar theft from an armored vehicle company in a Paraguayan border city have been arrested in Brazil, officials in the Brazilian Federal Police said Tuesday.

At least one police officer and three suspects have been killed, and at least nine arrests have been made, according to local officials and Brazilian media, which adds that all of those arrested are Brazilian.

Brazilian federal police on Tuesday arrested eight people suspected of killing a police officer and blowing up a building while robbing a security company of millions of dollars in a volatile border town in Paraguay.

A vehicle burns after thieves set it on fire during their escape in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, Monday, April 24, 2017.

The group escaped with money from several vaults inside Prosegur, a private security firm in Ciudad del Este, police said.

Paraguayan officials are describing it as the "robbery of the century".

"This is as large as you get, given the device, the amount of vehicles used, people, weapons ... it is the biggest one", former police commissioner Antonio Gamarra said.

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A joint Paraguayan-Brazilian police operation is now in place to catch those responsible, suspected to include members of the Brazilian drugs Primeiro Comando da Capital.

"In a moment we heard non-stop banging for an hour, during that time there were five grenades", local resident Alejandro Anisim said.

Some 50 gunmen with explosives and heavy arms left the city of Ciudad del Este looking like a warzone after a two-hour overnight assault on a security firm and police headquarters, authorities and witnesses said.

Maintaining in the so-called tri-border region is a major concern for Paraguay's larger neighbours, Brazil and Argentina, who are trying to curb drug trafficking from gangs like the PCC.

The Interior Ministry tweeted: "Three dead and four detainee" with a picture of armed security forces standing over a man, who was apparently dead.

The building had been under the police radar before, Richard Vera, chief of the Ciudad del Este police homicide department, told Argentina's El Pais newspaper. "They found an L-shaped tunnel that ran under Prosegur and connected to a house".

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