RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – One of Brazil’s top cocaine traffickers has been arrested in Mozambique, Brazilian police said, underlining the growing global footprint of the First Capital Command (PCC) gang.
Gilberto Aparecido dos Santos, aka “Fuminho,” had been on the run for more than 20 years until his capture in Maputo on Monday, and was one of Brazil’s “most-wanted” fugitives, Brazil’s federal police said in a statement.
“The prisoner was considered the largest supplier of cocaine to a gang operating throughout Brazil, as well as being responsible for sending tonnes of the drug to several countries,” the statement said.
His capture in Africa is a sign of the PCC’s growing international network. Originally formed as a prison gang in Sao Paulo, the PCC has become Brazil’s largest criminal organization and is increasingly moving cocaine overseas, especially to Europe and Africa.
In March, Reuters reported that Brazil has become one of the top suppliers of cocaine to Europe, transforming the country’s role in the trans-Atlantic drug trade.
In its statement, Brazil’s federal police said the operation to catch dos Santos also involved the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Mozambique police.
The federal police also accused dos Santos of allegedly financing a rescue plan for PCC boss Marcos Willians Camacho, or “Marcola,” who is in a federal jail in Brasilia. The alleged plan prompted Brazilian authorities to heighten security at the jail in February, the statement said.
Local media has reported that dos Santos was Camacho’s “right-hand man.”
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