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  (Source: Reprodução/EPTV)
Tablets, smartphones, and notebook computers were among the trove of 40,000 Samsung devices stolen

On Sunday, Brazilians continued to celebrate their nation's victory in the quarterfinals of the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) 2014 World Cup.
 
But near the nation's largest city of São Paulo, a factory of the world's largest smartphone maker -- Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KRX:005930) (KRX:005935) -- fell victim to a serious crime as armed robbers (or "bandidos" as the Portuguese call them) stormed a manufacturing plant.  The bandits made off with approximately 40,000 devices worth millions in U.S. dollars.

I. Samsung Plant is Stormed

The bandits struck Samsung Eletronica da Amazonia Ltda., the subsidiary of South Korea’s Samsung Electronics, during the evening shift on Sunday.
 
The plant is located in Campinas, 96 km (~60 mi) northwest of São Paulo.  Home to over 1 million people, Campinas has become known as "Brazil's Silicon Valley" given the increasing electronics manufacturing presence in the region.
 
The armed bandits carjacked an employee shuttle, which they used to reach the plant.  Once inside they took hostage the plant's staff. Supervisors were forced to open the gates, allowing seven trucks to enter.  The bandits proceeded to load up the trucks with 40,000 finished Samsung laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Samsung's Brazil plant
Samsung's Campinas plant is pictured here in a 2011 photograph. [Image Source: AFP]

The general details of the incident have been widely reported by several sources.

The Financial Times writes:

Samsung said on Tuesday its factory near Sao Paulo was attacked by about 20 heavily-armed bandits... About seven armed assailants initially stopped a shuttle on its way to the factory in the city of Campinas and took over the vehicle with eight employees on board. The assailants proceeded with two of employees to the factory, after setting five people free at a remote location. Then they disarmed security guards and gathered the rest of the plant’s employees, while allowing more culprits into the plant, according to the state civil police force... They made off with stashes of the loot, using seven trucks.

Robbers
The robbers that took control of the Samsung plant are seen here in security camera footage.
[Image Source: Reprodução/EPTV]

Reuters adds more details, writing:

After stopping the shuttle on its way to the factory, 7 armed assailants took over the vehicle while colleagues took all but two of the eight employees originally on board to a remote location, where they were set free.

Just before midnight, the assailants proceeded with the two other employees to the factory, where they disarmed security guards, gathered the rest of the plant's employees and made sure none of them could communicate with the outside.

With the coast clear, the attackers then allowed 13 other culprits, driving the getaway trucks, into the factory. The robbers, communicating with one another by radio and cell phones, then proceeded to load the vehicles with the loot. 

Samsung loading

Brazil truck in Samsung robbery
The thieves needed 7 trucks to haul away their captured loot. [Image Source: Reprodução/EPTV]

Some details in various reports of the incident have conflicted.  Reuters reported (based on a statement from a Samsung spokesperson) that roughly 100 employees were taken hostage, while The Financial Times (UK) claimed the number was closer to 50. 

II. Brazil Grows Increasingly Dangerous For Manufacturers

The Financial Times and a report in The Wall Street Journal indicated the stolen goods were worth 14 million Reais -- about $6.3M USD (for an average device price of around $158 USD).  But most other reports -- including one from a ZDNet Brazilian editor -- say the real figure quoted by police and Samsung representatives was 80 million Reias, which works out to roughly $36.2M USD at current exchange rates (perhaps The FT report forgot the '3'?).  That works out to an average device price of $905 USD, which is certainly possible given that many Samsung laptops retail for $1,500-2,000 USD.

At least one report claims 380 million Reias ($171M USD) in goods were stolen, but that figure seems impossibly high.  According to Globos, a local news agency, the $6.3M USD estimate is the correct one -- the initial estimate was high.

Galaxy S5
The Samsung Galaxy S5 with Galaxy Gear smartwatches [Image Source: Reuters]

In the grand scheme of things, that's a small dent in Samsung's profit which was just forecast to be 7.2T won ($7.1B USD).  But despite the relatively small monetary loss and the good fortune that nobody was seriously injured in the robbery, the incident is a stark reminder of the growing dangers facing business in Brazil.
 
According to a report by The Associated Press, cargo thefts in Brazil's "Silicon Valley" have risen from 425 in 2012, to 657 in 2013.  According to The Guardian, police suggested that the thieves likely had inside help with the Samsung heist given its scope and sophistication.
 
That will surely be an unsettling thought for managers at General Electric Comp. (GE), Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ), and Dell, Inc. -- all of which have large manufacturing plants in or near Campinas.
 
Apple, Inc. (AAPL), whose products are reportedly manufactured at a plant in nearby Jundiaí, São Paulo, already knows to worry.  It suffered in 2012 $1.8M USD (4 million Reais) in estimated losses when robbers stole 12 loads of iPads and iPhones in a heist at the Guarulhos International Airport.

Sources: Globo [Google Translated], Reuters, The Associated Press, The Financial Times





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This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

It was the...
By unplug on 7/8/2014 6:40:01 PM , Rating: 5
Germans again.




RE: It was the...
By ipay on 7/8/2014 7:59:11 PM , Rating: 2
Too soon.


RE: It was the...
By Samus on 7/8/2014 10:54:51 PM , Rating: 1
I'd like to think the Germans have a concept of quality to stay the hell away from Samsung electronics.

Zing!


RE: It was the...
By M'n'M on 7/8/2014 11:35:34 PM , Rating: 4
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor ?

Hell No !


RE: It was the...
By peterrushkin on 7/9/14, Rating: -1
RE: It was the...
By atechfan on 7/9/2014 7:48:32 AM , Rating: 3
The best kind of sarcasm is when it passes for real.


RE: It was the...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/9/2014 9:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
I love the Onion News Network video's on YouTube, funny stuff.

But it's always entertaining to read the comments and see just how many people took it literally and thought it was a real news report.


RE: It was the...
By atechfan on 7/9/2014 9:55:03 AM , Rating: 2
I've seen Onion reports go viral on Facebook and facepalm at the people who believe it.


RE: It was the...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/9/2014 10:33:45 AM , Rating: 2
My favorite is the old Phil Hendrie radio show (showing my age). Now that was a master troll, taught me everything I know :P

Phil was the host, and he would also do the voice of his "guest" in real time. It sounded so authentic you really couldn't tell. If you didn't know the gag, you would swear it was a real person calling into the show.

So his "guest" would start out kinda normally, and Phil would ramp it up into being more and more ludicrous and/or offensive.

When the real callers started calling into the show to engage his "guest", it was clear they fell for it hook line and sinker, no matter how absurd lol.

I have about 850 gigs of his stuff on a hard drive, really classic stuff. I could listen to him all day, and often do.


RE: It was the...
By atechfan on 7/9/2014 10:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'll look him up.


RE: It was the...
By M'n'M on 7/9/2014 9:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
Never seen Animal House I'll venture.


RE: It was the...
By BZDTemp on 7/9/2014 3:17:00 AM , Rating: 2
No way. It wasn't too soon at half time.

I like how the Germans gave Brazil a consolation prize at the end by giving them a easy run on the German goal. That is sportsmanship.


UPDATE!
By bigboxes on 7/8/2014 8:06:21 PM , Rating: 3
On Tuesday, Brazilians continued to mourn their nation's defeat (see Rape, Pummeling and Disembowelment) in the semifinals of the FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) 2014 World Cup. - See more at: http://www.espnfc.us/fifa-world-cup/story/1939331/...

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh175/bigboxes/...




RE: UPDATE!
By inperfectdarkness on 7/9/2014 4:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
Redtube has specifically requested that people stop posting highlights of this game to its servers, as it is already chock-full of videos on public humiliation.

P.S.
And I thought that people who camped out for iPhones were hardcore...


Ballz
By stoogenadoot on 7/9/2014 12:02:13 PM , Rating: 2
7 truckloads ? That is a pretty damn large amount of co-conspirators that have to be involved. Ouch.




Hmmmm....
By letmepicyou on 7/10/2014 12:26:50 AM , Rating: 2
www.ebay.brazil.com
search: samsung galaxy s 10.1
filter: buy it now; free shipping; new




"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes










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