Brazil Dismantles Military Police-led Contraband Ring

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A special task force on public corruption has arrested eight military police accused of participation in a smuggling ring in Matto Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, two states on Brazil’s western border with Paraguay and Bolivia.

The task force detained three suspects in the state’s capital, Campo Grande, and five more in Sidrolandia, southwest of the capital. The suspects are accused of accepting bribes in exchange for allowing contraband to be smuggled across the border from Paraguay. The task force’s investigation continues, with warrants issued to conduct searches of the suspects’ personal property and to detain other individuals that are still at large involved in the smuggling ring.

In a separate operation, Brazil’s federal police seized 370 boxes of illegal cigarettes (see photo above) worth approximately $400,000 dollars after the boat filled with contraband landed on the shore of Itaipu Lake in neighboring Parana state, which also shares a border with Paraguay. Police arrested the 26-year old Paraguayan pilot of the boat. Parana’s governor revealed a border security strategy to crack down on smuggling networks operating in the state in September, part of a larger national strategy to fight drug and contraband trafficking across Brazil’s borders.

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