Brazil: Police Seizes Nearly 10 Tons of Marijuana in a Single Day

Brazil: Police Seizes Nearly 10 Tons of Marijuana in a Single Day

By Eduardo Szklarz/Diálogo
November 22, 2021

On October 22, 2021, Brazilian security forces seized nearly 10 tons of marijuana in three operations. In the first, Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese) agents seized 5.5 tons of marijuana in a shed in the city of Ponta Porã, Mato Grosso do Sul state, on the border with Paraguay.

“There was only one person in charge of security in the place. [He] was arrested on the spot,” the PF said in a statement. The property was used to store drugs, which were transported by truck to the southeastern region of the country, reported the Brazilian website Capital News. The operation was carried out together with the Special Operations Battalion and Military Police Shock Battalion, both from Mato Grosso do Sul.

That same day, agents of the Federal Highway Police (PRF, in Portuguese) found 3 tons of marijuana in a tanker in Serra das Araras, in Piraí, Rio de Janeiro. The drug, divided into packages, was hidden inside the vehicle’s fuel tank, and was detected by drug sniffing dogs. Authorities captured the driver who will be charged with drug trafficking. “According to the PRF, the driver claimed that he loaded the truck in the state of Mato Grosso and was bringing the drug to the state of Rio de Janeiro,” the Brazilian website G1 reported.

The Brazilian Federal Police seized 5.5 tons of marijuana in a shed in the city of Ponta Porã, in the Tri-border region. (Photo: Brazilian Federal Police)

Also on October 22, members of the PF, Military Police, and Civil Police seized 700 kilograms of marijuana in Foz do Iguaçu, in the Tri-border region. “The police team was patrolling the district of Santa Helena, when they spotted a considerable number of people in a deserted area, carrying bales into a truck,” the PF reported. The suspects fled into the woods, but police seized the stolen vehicle where the drug had been placed.

46 tons of marijuana

Between October 24 and 30, the PF eradicated cannabis crops equivalent to 46 tons of marijuana in Pará state. The operations were carried out during the second phase of Operation Fusarium, launched to eliminate marijuana plantations in northeast Brazil.

“More than 138,000 cannabis sativa plants have been eradicated, avoiding the commercialization of approximately 46 tons of marijuana, according to expert studies,” the PF reported. “The total eradicated area is equivalent to 58,140.67 square meters,” the police force added.

On October 31, security forces seized 1,500 kg of marijuana at a farm in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais state. The operation was carried out by the Public Safety Task Force in Uberlândia, coordinated by the PF and with the participation of the Military, Civil, and Federal Highway Police. “The drug was in a van from Mato Grosso,” the PF reported.

Cocaine bound for the Netherlands

The PF seized nearly 1 ton of cocaine bound for the Netherlands, during two other operations.

During the first, on October 23, agents seized 453 kg of cocaine hydrochloride at the Vila do Conde Port, in Barcarena, in Pará state. During the second, on October 28, another 500 kg of the substance was seized at the same port. The two shipments were hidden in manganese containers, the PF reported.