Brazil: federal police dismantle group that shipped cocaine to Europe
By Eduardo Szklarz / Diálogo
December 17, 2021
On November 18, 2021, during Operation Calvary, the Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese) dismantled an organization that was shipping cocaine to Europe by sea. About 150 FP officers executed 36 search and seizure warrants, six arrest warrants and four temporary arrest warrants in several states, including São Paulo and Bahia.
One of the prisoners was the gang leader, known as Don Corleone, alluding to the mafia character in the film The Godfather. The PF did not disclose the identity of the leader, who used encrypted applications to communicate with his cronies.
“The drug was not supplied by them [the criminals], but they were ready to ship it abroad from Brazil, using boats, ”PF MP Luccas Dathayde told the Brazilian newspaper. Additional. “They are the ones who planned the logistics of transport to the port. [of São Sebastião, in São Paulo] and from there to Europe. Everything was planned by them and communicated to the owners of the narcotics, ”added the police officer.
The shipments were sent to countries such as Spain, Portugal and Belgium. According to the PF, the gang used black market traffickers to bring money from Europe to Brazil and pay for logistics operations through accounts opened under trustees and fictitious people. “Its members have also acquired real estate under non-existent legal entities”, Additional reported.
2,700 kilograms of cocaine
Investigations showed that in October 2020, criminals exported 2,700 kg of cocaine to Europe from the port of São Sebastião. The shipment was bound for the city of Cadiz, Spain. However, part of the drug, 1,500 kg, was eventually seized in Brazil, during a joint inspection by the PF and the Internal Revenue Service. “The other piece, 1,200 kg, was seized in Spain, after communications from the PF to the Spanish police authorities and the actions of Europol”, specified Brasil agency.
During Operation Calvary, police seized 28 properties in four states, several vehicles, including cars valued at nearly $ 106,000, and funds held in 53 personal and corporate accounts, including open accounts. in Portugal and Belgium, said the PF.
According to Globo newspaper, the organization also owned a ship used to transport drugs. “In total, it is estimated that the assets seized during the operation amount to nearly $ 9 million,” said Brasil agency.
Authorities ordered the violation of banking and tax secrecy for 66 people, including 39 legal entities allegedly used by people under investigation for money laundering, the PF said. “The operation was named Calvary after the cemetery in which Don Corleone was buried,” the PF said.
Nearly 2 tons of drugs
In less than a week, Brazilian security forces seized nearly 2 tons of drugs during various operations. On November 21, while patrolling the Paraná River, FP officers observed the movement of two fishing boats navigating in an environmental protection zone.
“Realizing that the police were approaching, the suspects sailed to the shore, abandoned the boats and managed to escape into the middle of the dense forest,” the PF said. With the support of the Brazilian military, officers seized the two ships loaded with 971.5 kg of marijuana, PF said.
On the same day, federal agents seized 265 kg of cocaine at the port of Natal, bound for the port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. On November 18, agents of the PF and the Border Police Battalion intercepted a vehicle containing 574 kg of marijuana in the region of Iporã, Paraná.