A Samsung factory in Brazil was robbed of at least $6.3 million in hardware by a gang of about 20 armed people at around midnight on Monday, according to reports from local media.
The Samsung facility is located in Campinas, a city of roughly 1 million people located about 60 miles northwest of São Paulo. Brazilian police told O Globo that the criminals stopped a van full of employees on the way to the facility, used their stolen ID badges to gain entry, and kept two of the victims as hostages.
+ ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Gartner scales back Windows forecast | Blue Shield discloses 18,000 doctors' Social Security numbers +
Hundreds of workers on-site went about their jobs during three hours in which the gang was essentially in charge of the factory. The thieves eventually left, in seven separate trucks, with 40,000 items – mostly phones, tablets and laptops – taken from the facility’s distribution center. Samsung said the value of the stolen goods is about $6.3 million, although police said that the value was actually more like $36 million.
Early indications are that the thieves may have had inside help – police told ZDNet that the gang was well-informed as to the location of particularly valuable goods.
According to Folha da São Paulo, this isn’t the first time that Samsung has been the target of this type of theft – an incident last year saw 900 cell phones, worth about $630,000, stolen. That load was partially recovered, however. That same report noted that the Campinas area is apparently a popular one for cargo thieves, with São Paulo police dubbing it “the Bermuda Triangle.”
Law and order has been difficult for Brazilian authorities to maintain of late, with widespread street protests against governmental policy and the World Cup, which is currently in its final stages. Discontent has spread online as well, in the form of DDoS attacks against the World Cup’s sponsors and organizers.