Brazil’s Operation Arrests 77 and Dismantles Police and Businessmen Gangs

Brazil's federal policemen Two politicians, more than a dozen police agents as well as lawyers and businessmen are among the dozens of people arrested this Monday, June 4, by the Brazilian Federal Police in an operation named Checkmate. The action was planned to dismantle several gangs specialized in corruption, smuggling, drug trafficking and gambling.

About 600 Federal Police agents took part in the raids carrying 87 arrest warrants and another 50 search and seizure warrants in six states: Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Paraná, Rondônia and São Paulo. By noon, authorities had already arrested 77 people and were continuing their effort.

Twenty four people were taken into custody in Mato Grosso do Sul. All of them are being charged with accepting bribes so criminals could act freely. A former House representative is one of those being sought. He is  listed as one of the heads of the illegal slot machine scheme in the state, which brought him about US$ 24,000 a day. 

Jamil Name Filho and Nilton Cezar Cervo Filho are two of the businessmen arrested in Mato Grosso do Sul. Cervo was a candidate to the House in last year's elections. Name Filho is the nephew of Jerson Domingos, the president of Mato Grosso do Sul's Legislative Assembly. Jamilzinho, as Name is best known, is the son of Tereza Name, who used to be a Campo Grande's (capital of Mato Grosso do Sul) councilwoman.

Former state assemblyman Roberto Razuk, a businessman in Dourados, in the southern side of the state, was another one who got caught in the police raid. He had been sentenced to 20 years of home arrest for crimes against the national financial system, forgery of public documents and ideological falsehood.

Fifteen policemen were detained in the state. Eight of them in Três Lagoas and another seven in Campo Grande. Three are military police officers: colonel Marmo Marcelino de Arruda, colonel Edson da Silva, and major Sergio Roberto Carvalho. Police chief Fernando Augusto Soares Martins was also detained. Among those arrested there were still three lawyers and several businessmen.

The Checkmate investigations started six months ago. One of the inquiries examined the practice of smuggling electronic components used in slot machines, which are illegal. A second probe looked into the civilian policemen's corruption and their possible involvement in drug trafficking in Mato Grosso do Sul.

During the investigations, authorities found out that the gang linked to the slot machines paid bribes to corrupt policemen so they would look the other way. Both inquiries ended up being combined into the larger Checkmate probe.

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