Federal agents in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Paraná, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro on Friday (Sep. 11) launched Operation Status aimed at fighting money laundering from international drug trafficking. As part of the effort, over $43.44 million were seized in assets from drug dealing in Brazil and Paraguay.
The criminal ring investigated had as its main activity money laundering from the trafficking of cocaine via fake companies, among which construction firms, real estate administrators, and luxury vehicle shops. The scheme, specialized in the laundering of large amounts of illicit money, also relied on a network of dollar dealers based in Paraguay, with operators in Brazilian cities like Curitiba, Londrina, both in Paraná, one of the states bordering Paraguay, in addition to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
In Brazil, were confiscated 42 properties, two farms, and 75 vehicles, vessels, and aircraft, whose combined value was estimated at $15,11 million acquired by the ring leaders. In addition to orders of seizure, the federal agents served eight warrants of preventive arrest and 42 of search and seizure, all issued by the federal court of Mato Grosso do Sul.
Operation Status is an international partnership between the Federal Police and Paraguay’s National Anti-Drugs Secretariat. According to the Federal Police, 10 properties are being seized, with a worth estimated at $28.33 million. Also being executed in the neighboring country are four warrant of preventive arrest and search and seizure, in 12 locations in the cities of Asunción and Pedro Juan Caballero.
The operation was dubbed “Status” in allusion to the ostentation and high-standards maintained by the leaders of the criminal organization, with attendance at race events with high-value vehicles, famous artists commissioned for personal events, and luxury homes.
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