Criminals working in cells around the world stole $45 million in December and February by hacking into a database of prepaid debit cards and making withdrawals from ATMs, federal prosecutors said Thursday, becoming one of the biggest bank thefts in history. Some other notable heists in recent years:
— 2006, London: Thieves take the equivalent of $92 million from a cash depot.
— 2005, Fortaleza, Brazil — Thieves take $70 million from Central Bank over an August weekend.
— 2004, Belfast, Northern Ireland: The Irish Republican Army holds families of bank employees hostage and steals $50 million in the biggest cash robbery in history.
— 2003, Iraq: $900 million in U.S. bills and as much as $100 million worth of euros is taken from Iraq Central Bank in thefts blamed on members of Saddam Hussein’s family.
— 1992, Toulon, France: Robbers strap a bank security guard with dynamite and lead him to the Bank of France, where safes are emptied of $30 million. Twenty suspects are arrested two months later.
— 1987, London — $65 million is stolen from Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Center.
— 1984, Rome — $21.8 million from Brink’s Securmark.
— 1983, London: Gold worth $37.5 million is stolen from a warehouse in the richest haul in British history.
— 1983, North Miami, Fla.: Two masked gunmen steal gold worth as much as $11 million from a smelting firm.
— 1983, London: A 14-member gang makes off with $10.5 million in bank notes from Security Express.
— 1983, London: Nine certificates of deposit worth $15 million are stolen from the Bank of Sepah-Iran.
— 1982, South Africa: Thieves steal $13 million in precious metals from Rustenburg Platinum Holdings Ltd.
— 1982, New York City: Two men break into the Sentry Armored Car Courier Co. office and rob it of $11 million in the largest cash robbery in U.S. history.
— 1978, New York City: $5.8 million in cash is stolen from a Lufthansa Airlines vault at Kennedy Airport in a heist masterminded by Jimmy Burke, the inspiration for Robert De Niro’s character in “Goodfellas.”
— 1976, Beirut: Robbers take $20 million to $50 million from safe deposit boxes at the British Bank of the Middle East.
— Compiled by AP News Researcher Monika Mathur.