The gang of international drug traffickers arrested in Brazil as part of Operation Date has been dismantled. This according to Federal Police (PF) commissioner, Júlio Bortolato.
Bortolato was the one who coordinated the operation responsible for apprehending 17 individuals in São Paulo and Santos, in the state of São Paulo, and in the states of Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul.
“This group will answer charges of international drug trafficking and conspiracy,” Bortolato announced.
According to the commissioner, the arrests, which were made on Friday, June 17, were the result of 11 months of investigations in conjunction with the German Federal Police and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.
Two hundred federal policemen participated in the operation. The investigations indicate that nearly all the members of the gang are of Arab origin.
The cocaine came from Paraguay and Bolivia, and around 1.2 tons of the drug were shipped annually to Europe and the Middle East from airports in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, São Paulo, and Recife.
The commissioner said that the criminal outfit was divided into three cells based in São Paulo and formed by five families – Chams, Diab, Kassen, Handan, and Ahmad – that left Lebanon in the decade of the ’80’s for Brazil and Switzerland and from there to Germany.
The commissioner also informed that 9 of the 17 individuals arrested are the object of preventive detention warrants, issued in response to a request from the German government, which is calling for their extradition to stand trial for international drug trafficking.
During the operation the PF seized phony documents, computers, arms, a boat estimated to be worth US$ 200 thousand, drugs, and around US$ 300 thousand in cash.
ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br