Thieves Hit Casino in Peru, Steal More Than $20K as Country’s Crisis Deepens

Posted on: January 18, 2023, 07:25h. 

Last updated on: January 18, 2023, 04:42h.

The political turmoil in Peru continues, with the country recently issuing a state of emergency in response to a growing onslaught of riots and protests. The ongoing unrest is also providing the perfect cover for criminals, with a second casino becoming a target in less than two weeks.

Police in Peru
Police in Peru stand guard. Unrest in the country continues, and thieves took advantage of it to rob a casino this past weekend. (Image: Shutterstock)

A group of reckless criminals broke into a casino located in the heart of downtown Chiclayo on Sunday, walking away with PEN80,000 (US$20,792) in cash. The robbery occurred at the Black Jack II property at around 4 a.m., when it was empty of clients and populated by employees tired from a long night.

Employees told police that one of the criminals posed as a client and later hid inside the casino. When the time was right, he sprang into action.

Creating Chaos

When the crook began the orchestrated attack, he demanded that the employees open the door. He told them that it was late and he was ready to go home.

Surprised by the presence of the patron, security guards initially refused to open the door. However, at the insistence of their client and under the threat of being reported to the police for keeping him locked up, they gave in.

As soon as a guard opened the door, the criminal’s accomplices entered and brandished their guns. They then forced the employees into a room, where they tied them up and moved to the next phase of their plan.

The bandits then beat and threatened to kill the employees if they didn’t hand over all the winnings made by the casino. Once they got the money, they removed the storage devices from the security cameras to keep their identities a secret.

The plan was mostly successful, but the criminals couldn’t properly cover all their tracks. After an employee freed himself and called the police, an investigation began.

The thieves may have taken the surveillance footage from inside the casino, but they couldn’t do anything about all of the cameras in the surrounding businesses and streets. Investigators are now reviewing those recordings, which will help them identify the crooks.

Peru Under Siege

This was one of several robberies to take place in Peru since the riots began. This week, several regions of the country joined a new day of strikes against the presidential mandate of Dina Boluarte. The claims, which have been going on for more than a month in various regions in the country’s south, are now moving toward Lima, the capital.

After the dismissal and subsequent arrest of former president Pedro Castillo, thousands of citizens have come out to express their disagreement with the decision. The regions of Cusco, Puno, Apurímac, and Arequipa have been the scene of strikes since last December. They demand the resignation of Dina Boluarte and the release of Castillo.

This past Monday, new regions joined the marches. On the one hand, groups from the capital city of Lima have declared new mobilizations and blockades in the city. In addition, the La Libertad region began to block several sections of the Pan-American Highway, the most important in Latin America.

Since last Sunday, several groups of protesters had warned of their intention to move toward the capital to carry out a “coup” against the executive branch of the government. Monday saw them band together and move toward the heart of the country to make good on their threat.

They have now arrived, and Boluarte had to issue a state of emergency. She wants to meet with the protesters this week in order to discuss their agendas. Boluarte said she would listen to any demands they have regarding social reform. But political reform isn’t on the table.