Brazilian Federal Police Dismantles Criminal Organization at Brazil-Paraguay Border
By Nelza Oliveira/Diálogo September 28, 2020
On August 6, the Brazilian Federal Police launched Operation CAVOK in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, at the Brazil-Paraguay border, to dismantle a criminal organization that engaged in international narcotrafficking and operated in Ponta Porã, which borders the city of Pedro Juan Caballero, in Paraguay.
Federal police officers served 21 search and seizure warrants, and made three arrests. The operation resulted in the seizure of 23 small aircraft — a fleet the criminal group used to transport drugs from neighboring countries — as well as four rural properties and a luxury apartment, all located in the neighboring state of Goiás. In addition, authorities seized five vehicles, eight firearms, and 25 cell phones. During the operation, they also confiscated about $30,000 in cash and 36 pieces of jewelry.
Operation CAVOK was dubbed after a term used in aviation that stands for cloud and visibility OK to indicate good flying conditions.
“The significant results of this operation are due to the decrease in funding of the criminal organization, with the seizure and confiscation of valuable assets and the arrest of strategic members,” said Federal Police Deputy Luccas D’Athayde, head of Operation CAVOK.
Both countries have been investigating the criminal group since 2019. The process was expedited during that period when the Paraguayan National Police intercepted an aircraft 45 kilometers from Pedro Juan Caballero, which was carrying some 130 kilograms of cocaine.
The Paraguayan National Police and the Paraguayan Public Ministry also contributed to the investigation.
A total of 14 people were investigated, who could be charged with criminal association, international drug trafficking, and drug trafficking and moral turpitude, with consecutive sentences that may exceed 40 years in prison.