Police Break Up International Ring that Took 4,500 Brazilians Illegally to the US

11 Brazilians arrrested in US visa fraud Charged with trying to rig the US working visa program in Brazil, 11 Brazilians have been arrested in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Paraná and Santa Catarina. The police, which carried out Operation Anarchy to catch the suspects, accuse them of being part of an international ring specialized in taking Brazilians illegally to the United Sates.

The American consulate in São Paulo estimates that the gang raised US$ 52 million in seven years, in what they see as one of the biggest cases of visa fraud in US history. The US consulate informed that the crackdown occurred simultaneously in Brazil and in the United States, but would not disclose any arrest made in the United States.

Among those arrested is Márcio de Castro Ferreira, named by authorities as one the main recruiters of workers in Brazil. Police agents from São Paulo and Minas Gerais went to Ferreira's house in Uberlândia, in the state of Minas, and seized about 60 boxes of documents.

At least 4,500 Brazilian used the scheme, which started in 2002, and promised a temporary job in the United States (H2B visa) at a cost of up to US$ 15,000. Those taken into custody were charged with conspiracy and fraud. According to the American consulate in São Paulo, there is also evidence of money laundering.

The joint work of the Brazilian and American authorities was made possible by the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT). This effort included the sharing of information between Brazil's GAECO (Special Action Group for the Repression of Organized Crime) and Orlando's Prosecuting office, which allowed simultaneous investigative action in both countries.

There were two search and seizure warrants in the state of Mato Grosso, in the Brazilian Midwest. In the United States police searched for evidence. Although not part of this investigation it was also found other fraudulent schemes in which Brazilians were taken to Russia, Dominican Republic, Philippines, Romania and the United Arab Emirates,.

The investigation started in 2003, when the US Consulate's anti-fraud sector in São Paulo detected irregularities. In 2008, the consulate contacted the Public Attorney's Office, which started its own investigating.

That same year it was created a taskforce with the participation of São Paulo's Department of Public Safety, the Public Attorney's Office, the judiciary, US consulate, Internal Revenue Service and São Paulo state's Finance Secretariat.

The Public Ministry infiltrated the operation and used court-approved phone taps and access to bank accounts to do its work. International agencies were also involved in the probe.

People who were victims of the scheme are encouraged to contact GAECO via their email: gaeco.guarulhos@mp.sp.gov.br


  • Show Comments (8)

  • Nicholas usa_male

    “Mexican immigrants ring any bell ?”

    Yes, but you got it wrong. Majority of Americans have no problem with Mexican immigrants, but what bothers the majority, include me, is the majority of Mexicans who come here doesn’t integrate (same like Brazilians who are or were here legal or illegal, but you don’t notice them because they are much quiet and are in small numbers compare to Mexican immigrants), and act just if they only believe in their own culture, and the rest can go to hell. Here in Miami, it is still the Cubans who don’t care about blending in or just can’t because they are stuck with their mind that they have to stay “real cuban” here. After so many years it’s still a problem. The ones who blended left. Same thing with Colombians, Peruvians, Venezuelans and from Central America, Koreans and Chinese immigrants. What also the problem is and that not many americans understand that there is a “class problem”. Let’s not forget that the majority of those immigrants are from the low class, have less education , think different and behave different than an educated one. Now in the past, the Federal Government and Local Government encouraged those people to integrate, but those common sense days are over. Today it’s not happening not of only the costs, but because of Political Correctness Language, (language that is used not to make them feel bad or whatever) and because the ones in the government Federal and Local have the idea that we are the world, we all should live together and everything will be fine. Nonsense, we should live together, but if we don’t speak the same language in the country we live, there will be problems, like creating hate of ignorance or irritation but still treat them with respect because they are human beings and understand that it’s the government faults that allows them to stay here without having rules of knowing the language and understanding the culture. once in a foreign country, you integrate. A foreigner, who wants to live in Brazil, must learn Portuguese to gain success. here in my opinion a Foreigner must learn English and use it in “public” to gain success. Only problem is..the English language is not the official language of the US. How is that possible? Many americans still have no clue that its the government that keeps it like that for some reason. So long it stays like that, some sleezy open border idiot keeps on telling the immigrants, that you don’t need to learn the language and not to worry. Here in the US we should also stop translating for them in their native language. That is another encouragement for them not to learn the English language, and who’s fault is that in my opinion? both, but I should blame the government more. Anway..all those points are the results of hating or disliking the Mexicans, legal or illegal, what is worse, because they are law breakers and not just some “undocumented immigrant”, that’s like calling a drug dealer (who can come from all nationalities) an unlicened pharmacist. That is a perfect example of political correctness what is poison for the society here and, everywhere.

  • Nicholas usa_male

    Well at least Brazil is doing it’s part..but WE here in the US should demand tighter security at the ports and borders with Mexico and Canada. The border is still wide open and President Obama is planning to “legalize” illegal immigrants what is by law a crime and are not suppose to be getting a greencard and eventually a US passport.

  • Juan

    Crime and violence in Brazil is contained within its borders but in the US crime and violence is contained within their colleges where they learn how to shoot at each other.

  • Marcus

    Good point Stephanie
    These Americans who never been to other countries feel we Brazilians are meanies to them while they are attacking other countries, building military bases throughout the globe.

    [quote] Brazzilmag – Brazilians Love to Talk to Anyone at Any Time

    In the US, history demonstrates that international disagreements are often resolved with guns and combat.[/quote]

    Yes, we have violence, crime and corruption in Brazil but that’s contained within our borders and in compensation We are a friendly lively nation while America takes these problems to other countries with combats, threats and domination and its people are not known for being friendly like Brazilians, but arrogant and full of themselves… Then they don’t know why people have harsh feelings against them.. That’s so dumb

  • Stephanie

    Im neutral here
    I am European.

    First of all many Americans here feel that they are hated by Brazilians. When someone tells you: Oh i hate this person. Usually you ask WHY. Hatred, prejudice dont happen out of the blue.

    If you Bo feel Brazilians hate Americans, have you ever asked why ? In my experience living in this country for 22 years, I know many more reasons why a Brazilian would hate an American than an American would hate a Brazilian.

    I am not saying hatred is justifiable.. NO.. but why would a Brazilian feel that way? Well, living here so many years, Ive seen the attempts of the American government trying to buy the Amazon off the Brazilian government. Ive seen the American gorvenment being the one to bring forward the concept that the Amazon should be internationalized to the world.

    I’ve read about American scientists going to the tribes in the Amazon region learning about their ways of curing illnesses, then bringing their findings back to America, patent them and then selling the drugs back to Brazil, striping them from the right of producing those medicines that the true Brazilans have been doing for centuries.

    The military base in Colombia near the Brazilian border.. Lula announced purchases of nuclear submarines to patrol Brazilian sea borders because American military vessels were sailing the area in search of oil to claim.

    Why would an American hate a Brazilian ? I can only think about one reason because there are many of them in the US, but why a Brazilian would hate an American. I see many reasons…

    And Like Juan pointed out, The Brazilians, in my point of view, are the friendliest people on Earth and Bo feels that they hate him, then ask yourself, What’s the image of Americans outside America to the world ? not just Brazil.. It is military everywhere, interfering with foreign affairs, intimidations, sanctions, and so.. All of that brings more and more harsh feelings against Americans.

    Yes, you feel Brazilians hate Americans.. but Ive never seen a single Brazilian burning an American flag in the streets in Brazil.. You see that a lot outside Brazil.. I’ve never seen an American embassy being blown up in Brazil, once again you see that a lot elsewhere .. You bo you shouldn’t go to some parts of the world because in some parts of the world it would be suicide if an American went for vacation.

    American military is everywhere not just in south america. The Russians warned America not to try to install a military base close to its border in Poland like they are doing in Colombia. Obama had to comply of course, because the Russians are not military tiny as Brazil is.

    Recently military American vessels were patroling chinese waters like they do in Brazil and everywhere else. The Chinese response was for chinese vessels to sail close to them and throw water jets on them to bully them off their sea.

    Brazilians are well known throughout the world for being friendly and a peaceful country and people from all over the world would rather take 1 brazilian instead of thousands of Americans in one bag. Even though many governments would rather have the US as a partner than Brazil, that is because of economical and military reason.. but the citizens of the world would take 1 Brazilian than thousands of Americans in one pot, Im sure.

    Plus, the Americans have their own hatred and prejudice of their own.. Mexican immigrants ring any bell ?

  • Juan

    [quote]just incredible to me when over the years I have witnessed and even been the brunt of NUMEROUS displays of ignorance, predjudice, and purely and simply feelings of “hate” from numerous brazilian citizens, simply because I’m a “gringo” and worse yet, an American.[/quote]

    It’s just incredible to me that you think that the Brazilians are the only citizens that hate the Americans.. Haven’t you ever been to Europe ? Or Middle East ? In Middle East you wouldnt come back home with your head stuck to your neck because of you American…

  • Zico

    Visas Forever
    A while back I read that the US Chamber of Commerce or Dept of Tourism was lobbying to remove the need for visas between Brazilians and Americans. I’m guessing this event pretty much torpedos that effort… And to the poster a few days ago referring to the US as a corrupt culture: Your corrupt countrymates sure seem to like it there, willing to pay $15,000 each to get across the border.

  • bo

    Kinda makes one shake their head…
    [quote]The American consulate in SÀƒ£o Paulo estimates that the gang raised US$ 52 million in seven years, in what they see as one of the biggest cases of visa fraud in US history.[/quote]

    just incredible to me when over the years I have witnessed and even been the brunt of NUMEROUS displays of ignorance, predjudice, and purely and simply feelings of “hate” from numerous brazilian citizens, simply because I’m a “gringo” and worse yet, an American….and then you read articles like this and it “kinda makes one shake their head”.


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