Police Investigations Show Structure, International Expansion of Brazil’s PCC

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Police in Brazil say two top leaders of the PCC criminal organization run financial operations out of Paraguay and the United States, information that sheds light on the inner workings and international expansion of what began as a Sao Paulo prison gang.

According to Sao Paulo police, Fabiano Alves de Souza, alias “Paca,” is among the top four leaders of the First Capital Command (PCC) and operates out of border town Pedro Juan Caballero in Paraguay, administering the gang’s accounts, reported Folha. He is the only one of the four leaders who is currently at large (see Folha graphic below).

Another key player, Wilson Jose Lima de Oliveira, alias “Neno,” responds directly to the PCC’s financial leadership and works out of the United States, collecting monthly PCC membership fees of around $270. Police say he also belongs to an unknown criminal group based in the United States, according to Folha. In addition, authorities believe Oliveira is using the United States as a base to learn about the operations of Mexican cartels, reported Estadao.

Police have also discovered that the PCC’s top leader, Marco Willians Herbas Camacho, alias “Marcola,” is now going by the new alias of “Russo.” Herbas is currently being held in the maximum security prison Presidente Venceslau in Sao Paulo, from where he continues giving orders to members outside prison via two other prisoners held in his unit, reported Estadao.

This new information regarding the PCC’s structure was released by police following the July 12 capture of 40 alleged PCC members, among them Amarildo Ribeiro da Silva, alias “Julio,” who has been identified as a principal leader of the PCC’s financial operations. He reportedly received orders directly from Herbas’ men in prison and was responsible for the purchase of large quantities of cocaine from Colombia and Bolivia, according to G1 Globo

The PCC is believed to be divided into 13 semi-independent sectors, each responsible for different activities. These include drug trafficking, storage and distribution, facilitating visits to imprisoned members, and administration of finances, reported A Tribuna


InSight Crime Analysis

The police revelations provide important insight into the structure and international operations of what has become Brazil’s largest criminal group. The PCC has an estimated membership of over 11,000 people and now earns at least $2.5 million a month from criminal activities including drug trafficking, robberies and weapons sales.

SEE ALSO: First Capital Command (PCC) Profile

Since forming in the Sao Paulo prison system in the 1990s, the PCC has reportedly expanded into all but three of Brazil’s 27 states and has also begun to operate outside Brazil. Alleged high level emissaries have been caught in Bolivia and the PCC is known to have members operating in Paraguay — particularly in the border region, where an important drug trafficker and financial operator for the group was arrested in June.

Reports the group has leadership and financial operations as far away as the United States, if accurate, suggest the PCC’s reach has expanded even further than previously thought. 

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