Brazilian Federal Highway Police Makes Record Marijuana Seizure
By Taciana Moury/Diálogo March 19, 2021
On February 8, 2021, the Brazilian Federal Highway Police (PRF, in Portuguese) seized nearly 30 tons of marijuana in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (MS). According to the institution, the seizure was its largest in the country so far.
The 29.2 ton cargo was on the trailer of a truck carrying corn in bulk. Officers from the PRF precinct in Dourados, MS, carried out the seizure on highway BR-267, between the municipalities of Maracaju and Rio Brilhante.
In 2020, more than 727 tons of marijuana were taken off the streets. The number is 123 percent greater than 2019 seizures and 137 percent greater than 2018 seizures, when operations recorded a total of 324 and 306 tons of drug seized respectively, according to data the PRF presented in early February. Cocaine seizures also grew in 2020, showing a 25 percent increase relative to 2019.
Improvements in management methods and expertise and the development of new skills were contributing factors to the results. “The PRF improved and presented remarkable results in the past 18 years. In comparison to 2003, when seizures amounted to just over 33 tons of marijuana, this increase exceeds 2,000 percent,” the PRF statement said.
The states of Mato Grosso do Sul, with 387 tons; Paraná, with 146 tons; and Minas Gerais, with 39 tons, rank among the top states for marijuana seizures in 2020.
According to Minister of Justice and Public Security André Mendonça, the PRF’s 2020 results are due to the commitment of everyone involved. “In 2020, the PRF broke all records in seizures and crime fighting, proving that commitment, planning, and recognition yield results,” said the minister on the PRF website.