Paraguay Police on Trail of Brazil Gang Fugitives

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Paraguayan police raided a ranch believed to have been used by a member of Brazilian drug gang the PCC, one of at least five who escaped from a prison close to the border in May.

During the raid of the ranch, also near the border with Brazil, police seized weapons, radio equipment and a vehicle.

Police were searching for Emiliano Jimenez Rojas, one of at least five alleged members of the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC) who were sprung from a Paraguayan prison in the same region in the early hours of May 3.

The vehicle seized during the raid is believed to be the same one used to transport several prostitutes to the prison shortly before the prisoners made their escape.

A 22-year-old local who identified himself as the foreman of the cattle ranch claimed he did not know the name of its owner. He has been detained at police headquarters.

InSight Crime has noted the increasing presence of Brazilian gangs in Paraguay, including the São Paulo-based PCC and the Rio de Janeiro-based Red Command (Comando Vermelho). If the fugitive gang members have been hiding out in Paraguay instead of returning to Brazil it suggests a significant level of comfort, and connections, in the neighboring country.

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