One of Brazil’s most active drug gangs, which had been flooding Europe with shipments of cocaine, has been dismantled, Europol said on Friday in a press release.
The Brazilian authorities arrested 15 people and seized assets worth more than €80 million, along with more than 17 tonnes of cocaine during the operation, conducted on Thursday.
Europol said the operation was the result of a two-year investigation and represented a major victory in the fight against drugs.
A whopping 173 vehicles and a plane seized, 147 bank accounts frozen
On Thursday, drug enforcement agents conducted 37 searches in Brazil. These resulted in the seizure of 173 vehicles and an aircraft. In addition, the bank accounts of 147 persons and 66 companies were frozen. Measures were also taken in Spain to locate and seize assets belonging to members of the criminal organisation.
The traffickers had first come to the attention of the authorities in late 2020, when German customs intercepted 316 kgs of cocaine in Hamburg. In collaboration with French, Spanish and German authorities, the Brazilian Federal Police eventually uncovered a vast criminal network stretching from Paraguay to Europe.
The network is believed to have exported several tonnes of cocaine to Europe on several occasions.