Brazil’s Federal Police initiated, Tuesday, May 16, the Twin Oceans Operation, a simultaneous international effort to arrest the kingpins of an international crime organization linked to drug trafficking.
The operation will be carried out in conjunction with police units in the United States, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Panama.
During its investigations, the Federal Police discovered that the crime outfit is active in international drug trafficking, selling cocaine stored in warehouses in Colombia and Venezuela to consumer markets in North America. Boats are the chief means of transport used to move the drugs to the United States.
The leader of the gang, Pablo J.R.M., is a Colombian who lives in São Paulo, where he uses the cover of firms he owns in the city to conceal the gang’s criminal activities.
According to the Federal Police, the heads of the criminal organization use Brazil to launder their ill-gotten gains. One of the methods they use to launder their illegal pelf is to purchase precious stones, jewelry, works of art, and horses.
The investigations began in Brazil in March, 2005, after contacts between members of the organization operating in Florida and the leader of the group in São Paulo came to light.
So far 12 arrest warrants have been issued in Brazil, 10 people have been arrested, one of the suspects was arrested in Colombia, and 22 search and seizure warrants have been executed.
The investigations also revealed that the group intended to ship the cocaine from Brazilian coastal locations to consumer markets in North America.