André de Oliveira Macedo, a leader in Brazil’s largest gang who was arrested in mid-September, was sitting on a fortune estimated at millions of dollars, showing the vast criminal profits the PCC has reaped during its recent regional expansion.
Oliveira Macedo, better known as ‘André do Rap,’ was arrested on September 15 at a luxury property in Angra dos Reis, a city in the southern part of the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Police also seized a yacht, valued at $1.5 million, and a helicopter at the property. Two days later, a Porsche Macan belonging to Oliveira Macedo was also discovered, while another helicopter was seized in São Paulo.
SEE ALSO: Brazil News and Profiles
The drug trafficker also owned a boat reselling business where police discovered 44 boats and which was likely used for money laundering drug profits.
Oliveira Macedo appears to have been a senior figure within the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC). According to police statements, he was one of two men in charge of all the PCC’s shipments of cocaine to Europe.
Despite being captured in Angra dos Reis, Oliveira Macedo was usually a resident in Santos, Brazil’s largest port through which flows most of the PCC’s cocaine shipments to Europe.
“In terms of international drug trafficking, he was the number one in Brazil. Now, within the PCC’s internal hierarchy, within their chain of command, I can’t say,” police spokesman Fábio Pinheiro told the daily newspaper Folha de São Paulo.
InSight Crime Analysis
InSight Crime named the PCC its top Criminal Winner for 2018, as it deepened operations in neighboring Paraguay and Bolivia, with tentacles stretching into Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
Furthermore, the PCC has established a highly lucrative drug trafficking partnership with the ‘Ndrangheta.
If Oliveira Macedo was truly in charge of cocaine shipments to Europe, it is no surprise he became a lavishly wealthy man. In 2018, authorities estimated the PCC’s annual profits stood at between $100 million and $200 million.
To try and hide his drug trafficking connections, he reportedly masqueraded as a high-profile agent for artists and football players, according to newspaper O Estado de São Paulo.
Although authorities had issued an arrest warrant against him in 2014, the operation to capture him began three months before his arrest.
Police began investigating the purchase of a luxury yacht, the very one found in Angra dos Reis. Although it had been bought through a shell company, they found that the registered owner of this company did not have the resources to afford such a boat. This put them on the track of Oliveira Macedo until an informant reported his whereabouts in Angra dos Reis.