Boeing 787 Hit By 10 Armed Gunmen Looking For $32 Million Cash

A LATAM Airlines Boeing 787-9 from Miami to Santiago landed Wednesday morning with armed gunmen waiting for it, tipped off that it was carrying $32.5 million in cash that was supposed to be taken to banks via armored car.

Ten gunmen laid in wait, and engaged in a shootout with security officers. Both an officer and one of the armed thieves died in the attack, while the remaining nine shooters fled – covering their tracks by burning the vehicles they’d used.

Meanwhile, a Delta Air Lines Airbus A350 was parked beside the LATAM 787. It was reported that bullets lodged in the fuselage of the four year old Delta jet, acquired from LATAM, but the airline says it examined the aircraft and it was undamaged.

Probably the most famous plane robbery was the 1978 Lufthansa job where nearly $6 million was taken at New York JFK, then the largest cash robbery ever in the United States. The movies The 10 Million Dollar Getaway and The Big Heist were made about the job and it featured prominently in Goodfellas:

The perpetrators of the 1978 theft never faced punishment. In 2014 a high-ranking member of the Bonanno crime family was put on trial. But then man, by then 78 years old, was acquitted. Meanwhile we’ve even seen a robbery of a Lufthansa jet in São Paulo.

What’s crazy is this isn’t even the first time this year that a commercial airline has been shot, in fact it’s at least the third time in the past four months

(HT: Paddle Your Own Kanoo)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. Ban cash now. Let’s move to all digital. (Notice I didn’t say crypto.)

  2. Off topic Gary but my Mom told me about a new hotel in downtown Laredo (across from Greyhound bus station) called the Rialto and yes!
    It’s from the Rialto beach resort hotel conglomerate!

    Have you reviewed this property?
    I can’t imagine a worse place to open a “Beach resort hotel.” The Rio Grande river doesn’t have a “beach” and downtown Laredo is as far from a resort setting as you can get.

    We can take the Greyhound bus together! Otherwise it’s United Express or American Express flights through daddy Bush aerodrome but those flights are often canceled. Have your people call my people…..

  3. You’d think that burning their vehicles would make escape a lot more difficult.

  4. I’ve been to the Santiago airport a couple dozen times. It seems unimaginable to me that there would be a shootout with a gang of gunmen on the tarmac there. Like try to imagine this happening at, say, JFK. Not sure if this is a one-off type of thing, or if Chile is becoming more lawless.

  5. South America is always a roll of the dice. I’ve had more close calls on that continent than anywhere else in the world.

  6. Violence on the tarmac in Chile? Chile installed a left-wing nut job as President in the last election. A so-called “activist” (not exactly a confidence builder). Whaddya expect?

Comments are closed.