On April 1, units of Operation Horus, which includes the Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese), the National Public Security Force, and the Brazilian Army, carried out another large seizure: 5,000 boxes of counterfeit cigarettes. The illegal cargo was found in trucks in the rural area of Jardim Paredão, Paraná state, in southern Brazil.
In a little over two months, Brazilian authorities seized more than 1 ton of marijuana, 43 vehicles (trucks, motorcycles, and cars), 22 ships, and 10 thousand boxes of cigarettes (the equivalent to 5 million packs). These operations resulted in 19 arrests. “The Paraná River was being used as an entryway for illegal products, contraband, arms, and ammunition that departed ports from Paraguay, and were unloaded at clandestine ports on the Brazilian border by a sophisticated criminal organization with defined roles and tasks,” said Eduardo Bettini, general border coordinator of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security’s Integrated Operations Secretariat.
In early February, the PF launched Operation Narcos I to dismantle a group that engaged in drug and arms trafficking, as well as money laundering across several Brazilian states. According to investigators, the organization is linked to a criminal group that brought drugs, especially cocaine, from Bolivia, using airplanes and trucks. The drugs were either sold domestically or sent to other countries on ships, according to the weekly magazine Isto É.
The NSC news site stated that PF agents served 24 search and seizure warrants and 17 arrest warrants — 16 preventive and one temporary. PF said that during the investigation they seized almost two tons of cocaine, and that the gang was part of a criminal group that also used counterfeit restricted caliber firearms.
Historic drug seizure
In the northern part of the country, the PF and Civil Police launched Operation Narcos II, with support from the Municipal Guard of Belém and the Brazilian Navy. “It’s a great pleasure for the Brazilian Navy to provide logistics support to the Civil Police, through the 2nd Riverine Operations Battalion,” said Brazilian Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Flávio Moraes.
According to the G1 news site, under Operation Narcos II, authorities seized 2.3 tons of cocaine in only three days. The drug was later incinerated in seven ovens. “Today [February 19] marks a historic day for the Civil Police of Pará. This is the largest drug seizure in our history. We are burning about $12 million [worth of drugs] and saving many lives, preventing the destruction of many families,” said Chief of Civil Police Alberto Teixeira.