A Federal Police (PF) operation in Rio de Janeiro, launched this Wednesday morning (23), investigates an armed criminal group selling illegal cigarettes, suspected of causing damage of R$ 2 billion to the Union. Among the targets of the action is José Eduardo Neves Cabral, son of former state governor Sérgio Cabral.
THE CNN found out from the sources of the operation that José Eduardo Neves Cabral had not been arrested until 12:00 this Wednesday, but that he was still wanted. THE CNN tries to contact the defense of the ex-governor’s son.
The action in partnership with the Federal Public Ministry, which has the support of the United States Department of Security (US Homeland Security Investigations), aims to comply with 27 preventive arrest warrants and 50 search and seizure warrants, all issued by the 3rd Court Federal of Rio de Janeiro.
Justice also determined the seizure and seizure of assets valued at R$ 300 million, such as luxury vehicles, cash, real estate, bank accounts and cryptocurrencies.
The Military Police of Rio de Janeiro reported that former governor Sérgio Cabral, arrested in the Special Prison Battalion of Niterói, fell ill this Wednesday, needed medical attention and is in stable health. However, he did not confirm that the problem was related to the news of his son being the target of the operation.
How does the criminal organization work, according to the investigations?
The operation named Smoke Free identified that, between 2019 and 2022, the criminal group would have transported and sold cigarettes coming from crime in territories dominated by factions and militias. The gang would also have laundered business money, sending large sums abroad.
The financial part would be dominated by a group already investigated and known debtor of the Union, with a debt of BRL 2 billion with the Union, according to the Attorney General of the National Treasury.
To ensure the group’s safety, there was a parallel cell coordinated by a PF agent, with the support of military police and firefighters.
Those investigated may respond for tax evasion, simulated duplicate, qualified reception, active and passive corruption, money laundering and currency evasion. If convicted, they could face a minimum sentence of 66 (sixty-six) years in prison.
Source: CNN Brasil
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