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Brazil Finance Minister Held Hostage and Robbed of All His Money

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega Brazil's Finance Minister, Guido Mantega, was taken hostage for several hours while visiting a friend's ranch in Ibiúna, interior of the southeastern state of São Paulo, during Carnaval, which lasted from Friday night, February 16 to Wednesday, February 21.

Several politicians including former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso have a getaway house in Ibiúna.

Mantega, his wife and two children plus his hosts, businessman Vitor Santi and family, were not physically harmed, but the robbers took their time, almost four hours, including a break to go to ATM machines, before they were happy with their loot and left. 

According to Mário Jordão Toledo Leme, São Paulo's general police chief, the invasion of the house where the minister was occurred around 11 pm on Tuesday, February 20, but the robbers only left around 3 am the next day.

The gunmen were never aware that there was a minister among the people they were terrorizing. Mantega's press office is not making any comment and the minister himself hasn't yet decided when he is going to testify.

Employees of Santi told reporters that were about 20 people in the ranch, including the minister, the host and some friends. They were kept all the time under the barrel of guns. Since it was an informal visit the minister was without his usual bodyguards.

Unlike many affluent properties in the area, which are surrounded by a wall, the minister's host didn't have such protection around his property. The robbers, who entered by the back, were wearing hoods.

They started by subduing the employees who were already asleep in the caretaker's house. Then, with the workers under the gun, they entered the main residence. Since the hostages were constantly reminded to not look up nobody seems to know the number of gunmen who participated in the robbery.

According to a maid, the robbers didn't seem interested in electronics or even jewelry. All they wanted was money, she said. But they have taken more than money, including jewelry and two guns. They got away with about 20,000 reais (US$ 9,600) in cash.

An employee of the Santa Bárbara ranch confided that Mantega maintained his cool during the whole ordeal, "He stayed calm the whole time and didn't say a word. It was our luck because if they knew it was the minister things might have been worse." As everybody else the minister gave all his money and valuables to the robbers.

The owner of the house had to leave with one of the gunmen to withdraw money from an ATM. They ended up going to São Paulo, 40 miles from the ranch. After the robbery Santi was then forced to give a ride to the gunmen to a nearby neighborhood.

The police arrested three suspects who were caught robbing other houses in the area and called the ranch's maid and caretaker to recognize them. They employees, however, said that they had no idea who the robbers were since the gunmen had their faces covered.

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  • Show Comments (13)

  • bo

    [quote]to Bo !!!!!
    written by ch.c., 2007-02-26 18:43:16

    And what else than watching….did the Chief Justice Bodyguards do ????? [/quote]

    I think they hid! And naturally that “ball grabbing” thing that brazilian men are famous for.

  • ch.c.

    to Bo !!!!!
    And what else than watching….did the Chief Justice Bodyguards do ?????

    You should eventually re-read the articles on that subject and take a pills …of magnesium by the same way. It could only be good for your memory !

  • ch.c.

    Hmmmmmm…..
    slipping or sleeping ???????

    Hey hey !!!!!

  • bo

    [quote]Ohhhhhh Yessss……quite laughable !!!!!
    written by ch.c., 2007-02-26 10:21:35

    Was it not the same a few months ago for the Brazilian Chief Justice ???? Yessss…it was ! Laugh….laugh…..laugh !!!!!

    And even more laughable is that in the case of Chief Justice what did the numerous BODYGUARDS ?????

    NOTHING….THEY JUST WATCHED !!!!!!!

    IN MY VIEW……HERE ARE 2 CASES… …FOR COMIC MOVIES !!!!!!!!

    HAD THIS BEEN FIRST SHOWN IN COMIC MOVIES…..Brazilians would have said it COULD NOT be real, it is only a comic movies.

    Reality is far above fiction…in Brazil !!!!

    LAUGH……LAUGH….LAUGH….LAUGH….LAUGH….LAUGH !

    Ohhhhh and by the way !!!!!!
    written by ch.c., 2007-02-26 16:46:18

    If you look closely to Mantega in this photo or another one, is it corn, soya or sugarcane seedlings, that he planted on his head ?????

    You see how trendy agriculture became in your country, it is really everywhere.

    Could very well be that your lawmakers will oblige every Brazilian to do the same, to help the country economic growth rate !!!!!

    Smile -smilies/wink.gif) [/quote]

    I, and I think I can speak for numerous others, are getting a bit pissed! No reference to “tropical mud”???

    You’re slipping ch.c.!!

  • ch.c.

    Ohhhhh and by the way !!!!!!
    If you look closely to Mantega in this photo or another one, is it corn, soya or sugarcane seedlings, that he planted on his head ?????

    You see how trendy agriculture became in your country, it is really everywhere.

    Could very well be that your lawmakers will oblige every Brazilian to do the same, to help the country economic growth rate !!!!!

    Smile -;-))

  • ch.c.

    Ohhhhhh Yessss……quite laughable !!!!!
    Was it not the same a few months ago for the Brazilian Chief Justice ???? Yessss…it was ! Laugh….laugh…..laugh !!!!!

    And even more laughable is that in the case of Chief Justice what did the numerous BODYGUARDS ?????

    NOTHING….THEY JUST WATCHED !!!!!!!

    IN MY VIEW……HERE ARE 2 CASES… …FOR COMIC MOVIES !!!!!!!!

    HAD THIS BEEN FIRST SHOWN IN COMIC MOVIES…..Brazilians would have said it COULD NOT be real, it is only a comic movies.

    Reality is far above fiction…in Brazil !!!!

    LAUGH……LAUGH….LAUGH….LAUGH….LAUGH….LAUGH !

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    got caps fix
    wht did they not just take the car????

    remember when the congressman had is ID stolen in the USA some changes were made then but only for them

  • bo

    [quote]And as this kind of crime continues, affecting ministers, judges, officials, something will be done. When their own ox gets gored the problem with be dealt with in one way or another.[/quote]

    I think they’ll just start protecting [i]themselves[/i] better ric, I mean, it’s not like there has been any history from any of them concerning real change.

  • Simpleton

    Let’s hope
    . . . not another raise to help raise more walls and hire more private security but for the few.

  • Ric

    ItÀ‚´s Not Funny
    But while there are elements in the criminal world in Brazil who are very smart, there obviously is no unified game plan for crime as an entity, and many are experts at what they do but not very bright in the sense of The Big Picture.

    And as this kind of crime continues, affecting ministers, judges, officials, something will be done. When their own ox gets gored the problem with be dealt with in one way or another.

  • Simpleton

    Dingo Bingo!
    Well, you didn’t want them just stepping out on the side of the highway and hitch hiking did you? That just wouldn’t have been a safe thing to do!

  • Gringo Dingo

    But it IS funny.
    [quote]After the robbery Santi was then forced to give a ride to the gunmen to a nearby neighborhood.[/quote]

    CLASSIC!

  • bo

    Would be funny…
    if it wasn’t so tragic.

    They didn’t know he was a minister, he wasn’t targeted. It was random. That tells you the state of things. Within the last 6 months two of the most powerful people in this country have been carjacked and now robbed in the very place where they sleep, and neither were targeted.

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