Police launched what they called Brazil’s biggest-ever anti-narcotics operation Monday against the country’s largest gang, the First Capital Command (PCC), seeking to arrest hundreds of people.More than 1,000 officers aimed to arrest 422 suspects and execute search and seizure warrants at 201 properties across 19 states, federal police said in a statement.The operation targeted the Sao Paulo-based gang’s financial infrastructure, blocking $46.6 million in bank deposits and seizing $1.1 million in cash, they said. Topics : Investigators said they had identified the network responsible for laundering the gang’s drug trafficking proceeds by following the money trail of payments made to 210 gang members in maximum-security prisons.The payments were for holding “high-ranking posts in the criminal organization” and carrying out orders such as “executing public officials,” they said.Formed in 1993, the PCC is estimated to have more than 30,000 members.It operates across most of Brazil and is involved in the international drug trade to Europe, Africa and Asia. It is led by Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, alias “Marcola,” currently serving a more than 200-year sentence in a maximum-security prison in Brasilia.The gang’s turf wars and flare-ups have unleashed brutal violence at times, including a record crime wave in 2006, when members attacked hundreds of police stations and patrol cars.The attacks, which left 90 people dead, were believed to have been triggered by plans to transfer Camacho and hundreds of other jailed gang leaders to maximum-security prisons.
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- Police stage record crackdown on Brazil’s biggest gang