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Brazilian 'Pirates' Score $110,000 Booty By Blowing Up ATMs

Thieves in and around Sao Paolo are employing an effective, albeit not very delicate, tactic for robbing ATM machines. They blow them up. In the island town of Ilhabela, a gang of 20 men recently stormed ashore, exploded five ATMs, and took off with a sm

Exploded ATMs in Sao Paolo, in January 2012 (Milton Jung)
Exploded ATMs in Sao Paolo, in January 2012 (Milton Jung)

By Vanessa Correa and Afonso Benites
FOLHA DE S. PAULO/Worldcrunch

SAO PAULO – A group of Brazilian ‘buccaneers' used speed boats to execute a nighttime raid on the island town of Ilhabela, where the men used explosives to open five ATM machines and steal approximately $110,000 worth of Brazilian reais.

Famous for its beautiful beaches, Ilhabela is six hours away from Sao Paulo, making it a popular vacation spot for middle class. The town's mayor, Antônio Colucci, had the ATMs installed just last year in order to accommodate the high number of tourists the island receives, especially during summer.

In a time span of just 20 minutes, the armed men restricted access to downtown, kidnapped a police officer, snatched the money and fled. A hotel security guard was shot when he tried to check what was happening.

Part of the group tried to unsuccessfully to break into a shop. The owner had installed armored windows after suffering similar attacks. According to the local police, this is the third time criminals have attacked the town from the sea.

Exploding ATMs has become a common tactic for robbers in Sao Paulo. As a deterrent, many machines are equipped with a device that destroys bills by splashing red ink on them. Similar attacks have occurred in other beach towns along Sao Paulo state. Five ATMs were blown up this year in places near Ilhabela.

So far nobody has been arrested. A speed boat was later found on a nearby beach. The kidnapped officer was kicked and beaten with a gun, but managed to escape before the robbers left the town.

Read the original article in Portuguese

Photo - Milton Jung

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The open debate on weapon deliveries to Ukraine is highly unusual, but Kyiv has figured out how to use the public moral suasion — and patience — to repeatedly shift the question in its favor. But will it work now for fighter jets?

Photo of a sunset over the USS Nimitz with a man guiding fighter jets ready for takeoff

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Visiting Paris on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksïï Reznikov recalled that a year ago, the United States had refused him ground-air Stinger missiles deliveries. Eleven months later, Washington is delivering heavy tanks, in addition to everything else. The 'no' of yesterday is the green light of tomorrow: this is the lesson that the very pragmatic minister seemed to learn.

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