São Paulo Gang Sells Drug Franchises: Police

Brazil’s police have found evidence that São Paulo criminal group the PCC has developed complex mafia-like systems to control the drug trade, with registered selling points and records of transactions.

The First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital – PCC) is today the largest criminal organization in São Paulo state, and the report gives further evidence of their success in the drug business.

Through wiretapping telephone calls, the São Paulo Civil Police recorded conversations between drug dealers giving instructions on how to register with the organization, according to a report by newspaper Folha.

According to the police, the selling points were each registered in the name of a person or family, who would pay a franchise fee to the PCC. Prices varied between 300 and 500 reals a month ($190 and $320), depending on how profitable the area was.

The dealing point could then be subcontracted, with the authorization of the PCC.

The investigation found that in exchange, the organization would protect the smaller dealers if they were arrested.

Many drugs sold in Brazil, especially marijuana, come via Paraguay, where gangs like the PCC have a strong presence.