6 – Dar Es Salaam Bank Robbery in 2007 ($282 Million)
For a theft that resulted in the heist of approximately $282 million, the Dar Es Salaam incident in Baghdad, Iraq received relatively little media coverage. The thieves clearly used the prevailing chaos in the city to perpetuate the heist on July 11, 2007. At the time, even the local police and Iraqi Government couldn’t agree on the most basic details. Local police said two guards pulled off the robbery whereas the Interior Ministry suggested that three men were involved.
The morning after the theft, employees of the bank came to work only to find the doors unlocked, the vault wide open and the money has gone. There are a host of unanswered questions about the robbery, and to this day, no one has been arrested and none of the cash has been recovered. Why did the bank have so much cash on that day and why was it in U.S. Dollars rather than Iraqi Dinar?
It is likely that the men had the assistance of the local militias because there is no other way they could steal that amount of money and safely leave the city. To give you an idea of the utter carnage in the city of Baghdad at that time, a total of 18 people were murdered on the same day as the heist.
As the Nazis proved during World War II, it is much easier to steal huge amounts of money in wartime than in times of peace. Whoever carried out the Dar Es Salaam bank robbery took advantage of lax security and will probably never be caught.