Rio Cracks Down on Gangs Suspected of Judge’s Murder

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Rio de Janeiro authorities carried out a large operation to combat a group known as the “Mafia of the Vans,” which was allegedly involved in the assassination of Judge Patricia Acioli.

The “Mafia of the Vans,” which operates in the Rio neighborhoods of São Goncalo, Niteroi and Marica, is accused of fraud and suspected of at least 60 homicides.

The operation, which mobilized more than 100 officers and was supported by the Military Police, aimed to dismantle bootleg transport services that fund the militias of those areas.

In less than two hours of operations, 12 vehicles were detained. Those arrested may be charged with fraud, use of false documents and conspiracy.

The group is suspected of being responsible for the assassination of criminal judge Patricia Acioli (pictured above), who was gunned down outside her house on August 11.

Acioli was known for taking action against the urban militias and had received many death threats.

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