Brazil’s Federal Police arrested a group allegedly trying to smuggle electronic equipment from Paraguay into northern São Paulo state, driving a police car into the wing of the suspects’ plane to stop it taking off.
Police seized the plane, which was filled with contraband electronics, and arrested five individuals, including the pilot. Over the past five years, authorities have seized 11 other aircraft suspected of carrying illegal goods in Ribeirao Preto, which lies in São Paolo state.
The operation was recorded on video from the police vehicle. As the smugglers became aware that Federal Police were in pursuit, they attempted to flee in the plane. However, the police car smashed into the wing of the aircraft, preventing them from taking off. Four passengers, as well as the pilot, were taken into custody.
Federal Police investigations into the so-called “hillbilly route,” which uses a sugarcane plantation as an off-loading point for smuggled goods, have been underway for a month. The contraband, which included 114 laptops, is valued at $200,000 dollars and suspected to have originated in Paraguay.
Drug and contraband smugglers have been targeted by authorities in Brazil and Paraguay under a bilateral security agreement established in June of this year.