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Brazil Gets Tough on Smugglers

The Federal Revenue agency has intensified its surveillance this year along Brazil’s border with Paraguay. Police officers and Federal Revenue agents are working in conjunction on the Cataract Operation, which is intended to contain the traffic of drugs, arms, and, most of all, illicit Paraguayan merchandise, which increases at this time of year because of Christmas.

According to the Federal Revenue supervisor in Foz do Iguaçu, José Carlos Araújo, 70 million contraband items were seized in October.


He said that the value of what has been apprehended so far represents US$ 2.94 million (8 million reais). Compared with the corresponding period of 2003, the seizure rate is up 88%.


Araújo revealed that some of the steps taken by the Federal Revenue this year to intensify the searches of buses that transport street vendors to Paraguay to replace their stock of merchandise have led to a considerable increase in the volume of cigarettes seized.


As a result, Paraná has become the most important state in terms of apprehensions. Between January and October, 1.4 billion cigarettes, worth US$ 5,804,364, have been removed from circulation. This represents 62% more than the amount seized all last year.


Agência Brasil
Translator: David Silberstein

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