Vale do Rio Pardo was on the route of what is already considered the biggest operation in the history of the Civil Police of Rio Grande do Sul against organized crime. In the action called Kraken, launched this Tuesday, 19, with a focus on combating a money laundering scheme from drug trafficking, agents from the 1st Police Station (1st DP) of Sapucaia do Sul, with the support of the Public Ministry of Rio Grande do Sul, represented and obtained 1,368 court orders against a criminal organization that has its birthplace in the Vale dos Sinos region, in municipalities such as São Leopoldo and Novo Hamburgo.
Santa Cruz do Sul, Venâncio Aires, Vera Cruz and Candelária were the cities in Vale do Rio Pardo that were on the radar of the mega operation. In support of colleagues from Sapucaia, agents from the Santa Cruz Police Station for Repression of Organized Criminal Actions (Draco) carried out a search and seizure warrant in a workshop in the Senai neighborhood, where there was an irregular vehicle, but nothing was found. Other warrants were carried out in places in the Esmeralda and Bom Jesus neighborhoods. In the latter, cell phones and documents were seized.
In Vera Cruz, police officers from the local DP went to an address in the Center where there would be a 1,000-cc Honda motorcycle, linked to investigated persons. The current owner of the vehicle, however, was traveling outside the state and the motorcycle had been sent to São Paulo, to be customized.
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There was also execution of warrants in Candelária. “We went to two locations in the Center where there could be a motorcycle targeted by a judicial kidnapping. We located it, but it had already been plucked, it was dismantled. We seized the engine, frame and other parts”, explained delegate Alessandra Xavier de Siqueira. A search warrant was still served at the Venâncio Aires State Penitentiary (Peva), for the seizure of a cell phone.
In all, the offensive extended to 38 cities in Rio Grande do Sul and four states. In an interview with South Gazette, the director of the 2nd Metropolitan Regional Police Station (2nd DPRM), delegate Mario Souza, detailed the importance of the region for the investigated organization. “One point of support for the group is in the Vale do Rio Pardo region. The economic part of Santa Cruz is one of the targets of the faction, which has the strategic intention of establishing itself, as the municipality is a corridor that connects several regions of the state,” he said.
“The faction targets this region, but cannot enter. There was a little bit wanting to stabilize in the economic part, but regional delegate Luciano Menezes and his teams, with a very strong work, fight this crime, given that we do not have crimes such as bank robbery in the region, for example. That’s why it’s important to attack the faction’s economic issue and not let it be created”, said Souza, who recognized the police work carried out in Vale do Rio Pardo. “Menezes knew about the actions and delegated court orders to his police stations, which successfully carried out the warrants. Now, we will continue the investigations.”
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Porsche, Maserati, Cadillac and Camaro seized
The actions had the participation of 1,302 public agents. According to Mario Souza, the investigations lasted a year and a half. It was discovered that values obtained from drug trafficking and property crimes, such as robberies and robberies, were made up and invested in a business way by the Rio Grande do Sul faction that operates in Rio Grande do Sul, part of southern Brazil and has international connections. The investigation reached five leaders of the criminal group.
The police were able to map the organizational chart, the basis of action, the branches of criminal conduct practiced and the logistics of the members. It was found that the group practices extensive and complex laundering of goods and values derived from drug trafficking, illegal trade in firearms, illegal trade in precious stones, property crimes (theft, robbery, extortion, embezzlement), crimes against the faith (falsifying documents, forgery, tampering with a motor vehicle identifier), illegal trade in T-shirts and symbols of public bodies and institutions, among other criminal offenses.
During the investigation, last year the 1st DP of Sapucaia do Sul arrested 102 members of the faction, who worked at different levels of command, from the “steam” (drug dealer that operates on the streets), car thieves and even some managers. More than ten kilos of narcotics and 11 firearms were seized. The total balance of this Tuesday’s mega-operation comprises 273 search and seizure warrants, 66 arrest warrants, 13 prisons that were search and seizure targets and a federal prison with search and seizure diligence.
There were still 38 kidnappings from criminal properties and 102 vehicles taken from the gang, which includes luxury cars like Porsche, Maserati, Audi, Cadillac and Camaro. The decapitalization of the criminal group also involved the blocking of 190 bank accounts and 812 requests granted for breaches of fiscal, banking and tax secrecy.
In all, 58 people were arrested. 40 vehicles, 87 cell phones, R$ 72 thousand in cash and R$ 50 million in goods and values were seized. The work on the Kraken mega-operation was supported by the Military Brigade, the Fire Department, Susepe, the Federal Highway Police (PRF), the National Penitentiary Department (Depen) and the civil police of Santa Catarina, Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul.
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