Brazil: Federal Police Conducts Historic Operation Against Narcotrafficking
By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo February 08, 2021
In late November 2020, the Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese) launched Operation Enterprise to dismantle a criminal group that was trafficking cocaine from Brazilian ports to countries in Latin America, Europe, and the Persian Gulf.
During a two-year investigation, authorities seized more than 50 tons of cocaine linked to a criminal group in Brazil and other countries. The main ports that the group used were Paranaguá, in Paraná, and Santos, São Paulo.
“This is the Federal Police’s largest operation to combat narcotrafficking,” said PF Deputy Elvis Secco, national coordinator of Repression of Drugs, Weapons, and Criminal Organizations.
On November 23, 670 PFofficers and 30 Federal Revenue Service agents arrested 29 people in 10 Brazilian states, including Minas Gerais, Paraná, and São Paulo.
According to the PF, Enterprise is also the largest operation conducted in 2020 against money laundering from narcotrafficking. Interpol was contacted to arrest suspects abroad.
“The joint operation with other countries enabled authorities to seize the equivalent of nearly $15 million in cash, luxury vehicles, and four properties estimated at $8 million, in addition to the arrest of six people — one in Colombia, one in Panama, one in Belgium, one in Spain, and two in Dubai,” stated the PF.
“The criminals’ scheme consisted of laundering assets and multimillion-dollar assets in Brazil and abroad by using intermediary proxies and front companies to give a legal appearance to the profits of narcotrafficking,” state-run Agência Brasil indicated.
The PF also seized37 aircraft and froze $632,000 in bank accounts, in addition to dozens of assets acquired with profits from illegal activities.
On November 27, while presenting the results of Enterprise, the PF explained that the operation had ramifications in Brazil, Colombia, and Panama, in Latin America; Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Romania, in Europe; and Dubai, in the Persian Gulf.
“The Federal Police and European authorities involved […] reiterated the need for integration and coordinated operations between local police authorities globally to fight narcotrafficking,” informed the PF.