Brazil: Federal Police Dismantles International Narcotrafficking Organizations
By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo February 10, 2021
The Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese) launched Operation White Sand (Operação Areia Branca), on December 2, 2020, to dismantle an international narcotrafficking and money laundering organization.
Some 80 PF officers executed five arrest warrants and 19 search and seizure warrants in many cities in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Espírito Santo.
The investigations began in 2018, when the PF received information about an individual identified as one of the six most wanted narcotraffickers in Brazil.
“[The narcotrafficker] was at large in Bolivia, from where he led the monthly shipment of about 3 tons of cocaine to Brazil, from the Bolivian region of Chapare,” the PF indicated in a statement without revealing the name of the suspect.
“The subject of the investigation and his wife, also on the run from Brazilian authorities, were found and arrested during the investigations,” stated the PF.
The drug would cross the border in small aircraft and continue by truck toward small cities in rural areas of Brazil. “The cocaine bound for Europe was illegally loaded at Brazilian ports inside cargo ships,” informed the PF.
On November 9, PF officers dismantled another criminal organization that trafficked Paraguayan drugs.
During Operation One Hundred Pounds (Operação Cem Libras), authorities executed nine arrest warrants and 23 search and seizure warrants in many Brazilian municipalities in the states of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina.
“The investigations revealed that the group transported cocaine and marijuana from Paraguay to Brazil via the Ponta Porã region [which shares a border with the Paraguayan city of Pedro Juan Caballero],” stated the PF.
The criminals transported the drugs up to Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, from where they would send regular parcels to municipalities in the Southern region of Brazil and Uruguay.
According to the PF, during the investigative phase, authorities seized 236.7 kilograms of cocaine and 5,300 kg of marijuana.
The Federal Highway Police of the Pelotas Military Brigade and the Civilian Police of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina supported the operations, reported the Diário Popular newspaper.
“The operation also executed court orders to freeze bank accounts and seize vehicles to decapitalize the criminal organization,” said the PF.