Country Risk

Growing sophistication of gangs’ modus operandi in Uruguay likely to include increase in cash-in-transit and ATM theft

10 September 2018


In early evening of 3 September 2018, at least 10 masked individuals intercepted an armoured cash-in-transit vehicle belonging to security firm Prosegur, outside the Itaú Bank, in front of the Congress building in Avenida del Libertador and Yaguarón, in Montevideo.

The individuals, armed with automatic weapons and handguns, took USD183,000 from the vehicle and ran away in stolen vehicles. Shooting occurred between the gang and security guards with bullets breaking windows of nearby buildings. Five people were injured including two security guards and three passers-by. The whole operation lasted less than a minute. Violent crime in Uruguay has been rising: in the first half of 2018 murder rates increased by 66% (totalling 218 cases compared with 131 in the same period in 2017), while theft and robberies increased by 56% and 27%, respectively, according to official data.

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