by Nick Giambruno, Senior Editor
It was the largest bank robbery in history…
It started just hours after the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003. Saddam Hussein and his sons looted over $1 billion in cash from the Central Bank of Iraq.
In 2005, Brazil’s central bank was also robbed, this time in an Oceans 11-style heist. A gang of 35 bank robbers dug an 80-meter tunnel underneath a branch of the Central Bank of Brazil. They disguised themselves as landscapers to avoid detection while they constructed the tunnel. The gang made off with around $70 million in cash.
It’s rare that any country’s central bank is robbed. When it does happen, it’s a huge story. It’s not like knocking off the local liquor store or retail bank. Central banks are big game.