Brazilians Plunder US$ 2.6 Million from Crashed Plane with 4 Dead

Twin-engine plane that crashed in Bahia, Brasil A twin-engine plane carrying four people and millions in cash fell Wednesday, March 14, in São Sebastião do Passé a country area 40 miles from Salvador, the capital of Bahia state. Rescuers and police found the bodies but not the money.

The airplane fell on the fields of the Nossa Senhora das Candeias farm. The crash drew residents from the region and according to the local Military Police they found out what the plane was carrying and made off with bags containing 5.6 million reais (US$ 2.6 million) in cash. The money belonged to several banks, which use to charter planes in order to transport large sums of money.

The Bahia Air Taxi aircraft was at the service of a private security company. The accident that occurred around noon killed the pilot José Leão Bezerra de Araújo and the three passengers Renildo Moraes dos Santos, Armando Dantas Ferreira and Genésio Barbosa, all employees of the money transportation firm.
According to the ANAC (National Agency of Civil Aviation) the plane took off from Petrolina, in the state of Pernambuco  bound to Salvador and fell after two stop-overs both already in Bahia, Juazeiro and Paulo Afonso. The plane was scheduled to land at 12:40 pm at Salvador's Luí­s Eduardo Magalhães international airport.

Technicians from Brazil's Investigation and Accidents Prevention Center are investigating what has caused the accident. At the moment the two most likely causes are: mechanical failure or lack of fuel. It might take two months to get a final answer.

Meanwhile, the civilian police have been searching houses in the region looking for the cash. Authorities have found money hidden inside stoves, closet, under mattresses and beds and sometimes buried in the backyard. By Thursday night, Bahia's civilian police had only recovered about 400,000 reais (US$ 192,000) of the stolen money. 

Joel dos Santos, a rural worker who was interrogated by the civilian police told them that he had turned over the money he had stolen to four military policemen who showed up in the morning. A spokesman for the military police, however, said that they hadn't touched any money and that all recovery work was the responsibility of the civilian police.


  • Show Comments (8)

  • Ryan

    Try to keep up, Ric. I’m responding to the first comment posted by Bo, which we all assumed to be facetious and humorous, but intriguing nonetheless. All I meant was that as long as there’s a chance to pin something on Bush let’s go for some war crimes.

  • Ric

    IÀ‚´m trying to fit your comments into discussion of a plane crash in Brazil. It is probable that the plane was either built in the States or under license from Embraer of a Piper design.

    Unlikely Bush had anything to do with it. Although a good aviation lawyer might be able to put it together. May be an older model and subject to the 18 year statute of repose law that the trial lawyers like John Edwards tried but failed to stop.

  • Ryan

    “Protesters are gathering tomorrow in front of the american embassy and demanding Bush be held responsible at the Hague.”

    It would be the least of his crimes. Let’s start with mass murderer.

  • Ric

    It depends. There are also cases where money has been found and returned untouched. Most of those stories never make the news. One time a missing suitcase made its way back to us unopened after three months. We had left it on a bus from Estreito thru Barra do Corda to Timon. Most Brazilians are honest people.

  • ch.c.

    I bet that the money…….
    was found and shared by the rescuers and the police ! Normal….in Brazil ! Isnt it ?????

  • Ric

    How about the truck driver who had an accident near here last year, trapped under the truck, bled to death while the locals just picked his pockets.

  • Professor

    Finders keepers losers weepers.

  • bo

    [quote]Technicians from Brazil’s Investigation and Accidents Prevention Center are investigating what has caused the accident. At the moment the two most likely causes are: mechanical failure or lack of fuel.[/quote]

    Or the jetstream caused by Air Force one that left last Saturday night from Sao Paulo. Protestors are gathering tomorrow in front of the american embassy and demanding Bush be held responsible at the Haig.

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