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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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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Why Poland's Break With Ukraine Weakens All Enemies Of Russia — Starting With Poland

Poland’s decision to stop sending weapons to Ukraine is being driven by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party's short-term electoral calculus. Yet the long-term effects on the world stage could deeply undermine the united NATO front against Russia, and the entire Western coalition.

Photo of ​Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Bartosz T. Wieliński


WARSAW — Poland has now moved from being the country that was most loudly demanding that arms be sent to Ukraine, to a country that has suddenly announced it was withholding military aid. Even if Poland's actions won't match Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s words, the government has damaged the standing of our country in the region, and in NATO.

“We are no longer providing arms to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland,” the prime minister declared on Polsat news on Wednesday evening. He didn’t specify which type of arms he was referring to, but his statement was quickly spread on social media by leading figures of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

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When news that Poland would be withholding arms to Ukraine made their way to the headlines of the most important international media outlets, no politician from PiS stepped in to refute the prime minister’s statement. Which means that Morawiecki said exactly what he meant to say.

The era of tight Polish-Ukrainian collaboration, militarily and politically, has thus come to an end.

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