Brazilian police on Tuesday busted a drug trafficking ring in an operation in five states that resulted in 19 arrests and the seizure of more than two tons of drugs.
The band, which was one of the main distributors of narcotics in Brazil, acquired the drugs in Bolivia and Paraguay and transported them by airplane to Sao Paulo state, from where they were sent on to the states of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro, as well as to the northeastern part of the country.
The traffickers had developed an extensive operation to launder the profits, the Federal Police said in a communique.
In addition to fake documents, the criminals also operated an influence-trafficking network, the statement said.
So far, the police have seized 594 kilos (1,308 lbs.) of cocaine, about 1.5 tons of marijuana, a handgun, six vehicles, as well as the equivalent of $482,600 in Brazilian and U.S. currency.
Police also froze the assets deposited in banks in the name of individuals and firms and seized real estate and vehicles valued at some 70 million reais ($31.8 million).
Among the assets that have been seized are five airplanes, four luxury boats, 11 properties and 14 vehicles.