Gilberto Aparecido Dos Santos, alias ‘Fuminho’

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Gilberto Aparecido Dos Santos, alias “Fuminho,” is a close ally to the leadership of Brazil’s largest and most powerful criminal organization, the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC).

He oversees the movement of cocaine and firearms from Bolivia and Paraguay to the gang-controlled states of Brazil. While not believed to be an official member of the PCC leadership, Fuminho was a top provider of drugs to the gang and a close friend of Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, alias “Marcola,” who has led the organization from various prisons since 2002. He was arrested in Mozambique in April 2020.

History

While it remains unclear whether he was ever officially initiated into the PCC, Fuminho has been working with Marcola since the early 1990s, when they made a living out of bank robberies and car theft. Fuminho broke out of Casa de Detenção prison in 1999, around the time that Marcola was climbing the ranks of the PCC.

Following his escape, Fuminho fled Brazil. However, his official whereabouts remained unconfirmed until 2008, when he used a fake identity to gain entry into Bolivia. Fuminho appears to have settled in Bolivia before then, spending the decade developing a base of operations in the country’s coca-producing Chapare region. Here, Fuminho was able to train PCC members and oversee the transport of arms and cocaine paste through Paraguay to the Brazilian states of Ceará, Pernambuco and Santa Catarina, among others.

In February 2014, Fuminho planned to free Marcola from the Presidente Venceslau prison outside of São Paolo using a helicopter painted with military designs. But officials discovered the plan and relocated Marcola and other PCC inmates.

That same year, Fuminho came close to being arrested after São Paulo police broke up a money laundering scheme involving around 40 PCC members. One of them, Wilson José Lima de Oliveira, “alias Neno,” fled to Fuminho’s home in Florida. The DEA were on the verge of raiding the property when he and Neno boarded a plane to Panama.

Fuminho rose to second-in-command in early 2018 following the fall of several high-ranking PCC gang members. That February, Fuminho arranged for the execution of Rogério Jeremias de Simone, alias “Gegê do Mangue,” and Fabiano Alves de Souza, alias “Paca,” who were stealing money from the organization. In the same month, Elton Leonel Rumich da Silva, alias “Galán,” who helped oversee the transport of arms and drugs through Bolivia and Paraguay, was arrested in Rio de Janeiro, thereby securing Fuminho’s position as the top free member of the PCC.

In 2018, Fuminho planned a second attempt to break Marcola out. This one, officials said, was to involve cutting power to the surrounding area, landing a helicopter at the prison gates and flying Marcola to a local airstrip for transfer to Paraguay or Bolivia. However, once prison officials learned of the plan, Marcola and other incarcerated PCC members were quickly relocated to other prisons.

Geography

Fuminho’s exact whereabouts were for a long time difficult to pinpoint. Most reports placed him in Bolivia’s Chapare region, with occasional business trips to the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais. However, there has also been reporting that in 2019 Fuminho left Bolivia for Paraguay, where the PCC’s influence is stronger and he can more closely oversee the transport of drugs to Mato Grosso do Sul. Regardless, he maintained control over much of the drug and arms trafficking activity in eastern Bolivia, Paraguay and nearly all Brazilian states.

He was surprisingly located in Mozambique, Africa, and arrested in April 2020.

Allies and Enemies

Fuminho remains close to Marcola, who gives him direction from prison. Until his arrest in April 2020, Fuminho was one of Brazil’s most-wanted criminals. Despite having ties to the PCC leadership, he operated independently of Marcola, for example by allegedly arranging the executions of Gegê del Mangue and Paca.

Fuminho’s presence in Bolivia has relied on connections to its government officials, prisons and law enforcement. He also reportedly has a growing relationship with the ‘Ndrangheta, an Italian mafia group that met with him in 2016 and 2017 to arrange shipments to Europe.

Prospects

Fuminho appeared on Brazil’s 25 Most Wanted List in January 2020. While he took measures to avoid capture—officials say he took his fingerprint records with him upon escape in 1999—he was arrested in April 2020 in Mozambique.

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