Brazil Federal Police crack down on int’l drug ring

Agents are serving 49 search and seizure orders, 19 arrest warrants

Published in 06/07/2022 - 15:10 By Agência Brasil - Brasília

A criminal ring led by a former major from Brazil’s Military Police of Mato Grosso do Sul state was targeted this morning by Federal Police operations Catrapo and The Fallen. The organization was active in international drug trafficking, money laundering, and smuggling.

Federal agents are carrying out 49 search and seizure orders as well as 19 arrest warrants in 12 states across the country.

During the probes, investigators found that the criminals used airplanes to transport cocaine acquired in Peru and Bolivia to Europe, using the state in Central-West Brazil for storage. Agents intercepted two tons of cocaine and identified BRL 40 million in assets.

“The investigations began in 2020, following the suspicious import of Portuguese aircraft parts by a company from the city of Recife, which brought them into Brazil through the port of Itajaí, in Santa Catarina state. After joint efforts with the Federal Police, the Federal Revenue Service, and the National Civil Aviation Agency, a scheme was found to be smuggling aircraft parts into the country for use by drug traffickers operating on the border.”

The investigations showed that the criminal group used front companies to launder money with companies abroad to facilitate the purchase of aircraft outside Brazil. The planes used served other criminal organizations.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Valéria Aguiar

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