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Gunmen rob Samsung plant in Brazil

Publication Date : 09-07-2014


Armed thieves raided one of Samsung Electronics’ plants in Brazil on Monday, stealing millions of dollars of computers and smartphones, according to news reports.

The value of the stolen goods was initially said to be around $36 million, but Samsung denied this, claiming that it is closer to $6.4 million. It also stated that the losses would be covered by insurance.

Around 20 bandits armed with submachine guns carjacked a shuttle headed to the factory in Campinas, near Sao Paulo, with eight Samsung Electronics employees on board. They entered the factory with the ID cards of the employees, who were held hostage.

The gang outgunned the guards at the factory and made off with more than 40,000 finished products in seven trucks.

The local police authorities hinted at the possibility of an inside job, since the criminals were easily able to get access to the factory and were familiar with its layout.

They told Brazilian media that it would be difficult to commit a crime on this scale without inside help.

Samsung Electronics said it was “very concerned” about the incident in a statement, adding that it would “fully cooperate with the police investigation”.

It was not the first time that theft occured at the tech behemoth. In 2012, two of Samsung’s organic light emitting diode TVs were stolen while they were being shipped to an electronics show in Berlin. The TVs were later found on an express road in Germany.

After the news about the looting was released, other Korean firms running plants or offices in South America began reevaluating the security of their local offices and the safety of their employees.

“Since security is relatively unstable in Brazil and other South American nations, we usually try to set up offices in safe places and regularly remind our employees of do’s and don’ts while living in those areas,” an official from Dongbu Daewoo Electronics said.

An official from LG Electronics also said the firm would check and beef up security at its business sites in Brazil.

Campinas is known as the Brazilian Silicon Valley, with industrial parks where high-tech companies such as General Electric, Hewlett Packard and Dell have established operations.

The industrial area has seen a spike in cargo thefts, from 425 in 2012 to 657 in 2013.


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