51 People Arrested in Anti-Drug Operations in Eight Brazilian States
By Dialogo February 12, 2009Today the Federal Police arrested a total of 51 people from two different gangs for their involvement in the trafficking of synthetic drugs in Brazil and in other countries, some of them in Europe, according to official sources. According to local media, the two operations were carried out simultaneously in eight Brazilian states, and involved 300 agents of the Federal Police and 200 of the State of Rio de Janeiro, where 28 were detained. Most of those arrested are middle class and used the Internet to communicate among themselves and evade any wiretapping from the Ministry of Justice. During these operations 112,010 ecstasy tablets, 115,399 doses of LSD, 7.2 kilos of cocaine, 22 kilos of hashish, and 2962 vials of "lanza perfume," a drug developed in Brazil that combines chloroform, ether, and scented essences, were seized. The Federal Police said that five weapons, including rifles, machine guns, and pistols were also apprehended. According to official data, all detainees are between 20 and 30 years of age and were arrested in the states of Santa Catarina, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Bahia, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Pernambuco, and the Federal District of Brasília. The Federal Public Ministry said that gangs were recruiting people to transport cocaine to Europe, mainly destined for Holland, from which they returned with synthetic drugs to be sold in Brazil. These trips earned the drug dealers up to one million reais (about $438,500) per month, according to police estimates. "The defendants are all upper middle class young people who live in good neighborhoods, dropped out of school, and never had any lawful occupation, formal or informal," a spokesman of the Public Ministry stated. Among those arrested is Henrique Dorneles Forni, known as Greg and considered one of the largest distributors of drugs to the middle class in the affluent zone in the south of Rio de Janeiro.