A daring bank heist in Brazil netted the robbers almost $70 million back in 2005. But many of the people that the authorities suspected to be involved faced a ghastly fate when others began to target the money. Netflix’s latest true-crime offering, ‘Great Robbery of Brazil’s Central Bank,’ delves into a case that garnered international headlines and is forever etched in memory as one of the biggest heists ever. Among the 34 men the authorities identified as being involved in the robbery, they believed Luis Fernando Ribeiro, aka Fernandinho, was one of the masterminds. So, if you’re wondering what happened to him, we’ve got you covered.
How Did Fernandinho Die?
Fernandinho was suspected to be the one who financed the Central Bank robbery in Fortaleza, Brazil, in August 2005. At the time, several men dug an underground tunnel from a house to the bank vault, stealing $70 million in a meticulously planned heist. Fernandinho was considered one of the leaders and suspected to have taken a large share of the loot. After the robbery, the 26-year-old had fled Fortaleza to Saõ Paulo, Brazil, and had eluded authorities until another violent crime occurred.
On October 7, 2005, Fernandinho was kidnapped outside a nightclub in Saõ Paulo. At the time, the men claimed to be federal officers and took him away in a van. Fernandinho’s body was found on October 9 near Camanducaia in Minas Gerais, Brazil. He was killed execution-style, with about seven gunshot wounds and the body was identified on October 20. As per the show, he was shot in the buttcheeks and the face. Fernandinho also had marks on his wrists, indicating that he had been handcuffed.
Who Killed Fernandinho?
A few hours after Fernandinho was taken, Marcio Marcio, a defense lawyer, received a call from the 26-year-old panicked family. There was a ransom call from the kidnappers, and Marcio was then asked to act as the go-between. He met the kidnappers at a local gas station, spoke to Fernandinho through a walkie-talkie, and handed over $890,000 in ransom. However, the kidnappers never kept the promise of releasing the captive free and unharmed.
When Fernandinho still didn’t return, the family went to the police and admitted that he was one of the minds behind the Central Bank heist, putting in the initial money to finance the operation and coming back with a large share of the loot. Furthermore, the authorities learned that Fernandinho was part of a Brazilian mafia organization called Premeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), and they felt that PCC was behind the bank heist.
Fernandinho was involved in drug trafficking and had killed others before. Furthermore, PCC was known for drugs, kidnapping, and robberies. However, the investigation revealed that the abduction was most likely due to Fernandinho’s alleged involvement with the heist and making away with millions. The authorities believed that corrupt police officers were involved as well, with an official document saying, “There are indications, not entirely proven, that the authors of the crime are police officers or people linked to them.”
Eventually, the police arrested two officers for their alleged involvement. As per the show, the authorities also suspected the involvement of police informers and lawyers. Fernandinho’s case was not isolated since three others suspected to be part of the bank heist were murdered and left in a well. By April 2006, six kidnappings took place, all having links to the robbery.