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Eleven people were arrested stealing of copper from EscondidaEleven people were arrested by Chilean police after they were caught stealing four bags of copper concentrate from BHP’s Escondida mine in northern Chile, the largest in the world. The thieves, however, intended to steal much more metal, as they were carrying 325 empty bags, as well as tools such as chisels, shovels and sieves.

The group was discovered when a police unit was crossing the B475 road in Antofagasta on Saturday and detected unusual activity in the mine. When questioned about their presence in the operation, the men could not give an explanation. The police then contacted Escondida management who confirmed that the intruders were not BHP employees.

The men were taken to the Antofagasta prosecutor’s office, which then forwarded the case to the competent criminal court.

According to the police, five of the people involved in the incident were Chileans with a long history of crime, five others were undocumented Venezuelans and one of them was an undocumented Colombian.