Brazilian authorities make 157 drug-related arrests
At least 157 people were arrested Wednesday in Brazil in a police raid against drug-trafficking gangs, it was reported in Rio de Janeiro. Among those taken into custody were leaders of the two largest Brazilian criminal factions -the First Capital Command (PCC) and the Red Command (Comando Vermelho)- according to police sources cited by Xinhua.
The operation was carried out by the National Group for the Fight against Organized Crime (GNCOC), linked to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, in 13 Brazilian states. Of the 157 detainees, 37 were arrested for drug trafficking or for carrying firearms and ammunition.
According to the GNCOC, a PCC member was arrested in the state of Parana, considered a leader with operations throughout the country and who collected data on trials and transgressions of the faction’s rules. Other leaders were also arrested in the states of Espírito Santo, São Paulo, Goiás, and Rio Grande do Sul. Red Command leaders were arrested in Pará and Acre.
The authorities seized 12 weapons (pistols, rifles, and revolvers), 163 cartridges, 10 kilograms of drugs, R$ 125,000 in cash, 11 vehicles, telephones, and other documents.
The mega-operation, coordinated by the GNCOC, was carried out in the states of Acre, Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Rondônia, Pará, Paraná, São Paulo, Sergipe, and Tocantins.
According to GNCOC Chief and Sao Paulo Prosecutor Mario Sarrubbo, all the evidence seized will be used to devise future operations against drug gangs.