All about Netflix’s new true-life crime series ‘The Great Heist’

The Great Heist is a new Netflix mini-series based on the shocking true-life story of 14 thieves who stole £26 million from a branch of Colombia’s national bank.

The new Netflix drama tells the story of a true crime which has been dubbed “the robbery of the century” in many reports in the media.

The series is inspired by real events that unfolded in Colombia in 1994, when a gang of criminals robbed a national bank, stealing up to £26 million in cash.

The robbery was initially covered in a book by journalist Alfredo Serrano Zabala, called “This Is How I Robbed the Bank: The Assault of the 20th Century in Colombia.”

In October 1994, a group of 14 men entered Colombia’s Banco de la Republica in the city of Valledupar, walking in smoothly through the front door.

The men entered the building under the guise of carrying out air conditioning maintenance and took advantage of the fact that it was a national holiday. Over a period of 21 hours, the thieves were able to successfully carry out the heist without alerting the authorities.

During this time the thieves used a variety of tools, masks, welding machines and oxygen tanks to access the bank’s vault and help themselves to the money. The most notable aspect of this robbery was that such a significant amount of money was stolen without a single shot being fired by the thieves.

They were in and out without anyone even noticing. The professional operation was reportedly planned for almost eight months, where the thieves studied the electronic security system and imported specialised machinery from Canada to complete the heist.

The team of thieves was made up of established robbers, electronics specialists, members of the police force and even officials from the bank itself. Authorities estimate around 26 people were involved either directly or indirectly in what is now referred to as the robbery of the century.

The suspected mastermind behind the robbery, Jaime Bonilla Esquivel, eventually turned himself in to the authorities.

The heist caused a financial crisis in northern Colombia as businesses were required to look out for the serial numbers of the missing money. The stolen money consisted of all new bills that were not yet meant to be in circulation and led to the discontinuation of many banknotes.

The story about this highly elaborate heist is covered in all six episodes of the latest Netflix original “The Great Heist” which premiered on the platform on Friday, August 14, 2020.

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