Brazil: Federal Police Seizes More Than 10 Tons of Marijuana and Dismantles Group that Shipped Cocaine to Africa
By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo October 21, 2021
On September 30, 2021, the Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese) and Federal Highway Police (PRF, in Portuguese) intercepted a truck with more than 10 tons of marijuana in Santa Catarina state. The drug was hidden in a gravel cargo.
“The suspicious vehicle was parked at a gas station on the side of BR-101 Highway,” the PF said. The Santa Catarina Military Police contributed to the operation.
“This was the third major seizure of marijuana carried out in the metropolitan region of Florianópolis in recent months,” said the PF.
On September 30, the PRF also seized a truck carrying 200 kilograms of cocaine on the BR-070 Highway in Goiás state. “The operation was carried out by federal highway police and military police of the Border Operation Command (COD/PM, in Portuguese),” the PRF indicated. “The drug was concealed in the false bottom of a truck carrying boxes of vegetables,” the PRF added.
Cocaine bound for Africa
On September 16, the PF dismantled an international organization that was shipping cocaine to Africa. “The group was responsible for exporting 2.8 tons of cocaine in early July,” the PF said in a statement. At the time, during Operation Coroa, the police arrested seven people after intercepting a fishing boat carrying the drug at the mouth of the Itajaí River, in Santa Catarina.
“The Federal Police investigated the participation of eight more people who were funding criminal operations and logistics of the drug’s transport to the vessel,” said the Brazilian newspaper Correio do Povo.
Agents investigated the criminal group’s structure for two and a half months, until September 16, when they were finally dismantled.” About 50 Federal Police officers served 10 warrants for search and seizure of properties in the cities of Itajaí, Camboriú, Navegantes, and Penha, in addition to Salvador and Porto Seguro [Bahia state] and Guarujá [São Paulo state],” the PF indicated.
“The drug was bound for Africa, at a maritime point near the coast of Namibia, where the drug would likely be transferred to another vessel,” the PF said.