They are scheduled for this Thursday afternoon (27) in Araguaína, in the north of Tocantins, the custody hearings of 18 prisoners in the Federal Police’s Rota Caipira operation, which investigates international cocaine trafficking. The group has been investigated for three years and allegedly used planes to smuggle drugs from Colombia, Bolivia and Peru, and then distribute them in several states.
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One of the main targets of the operation was businessman César Trindade, owner of a vehicle dealership in Araguaína, suspected of financing and laundering money from drug trafficking. He was taken to the prison along with the other prisoners of the operation until the custody hearing.
In an interview with TV Anhanguera, his lawyer said he will prove that the client has no involvement in the crimes. (See full note)
This Wednesday (26) the police fulfilled almost 200 warrants issued by the Federal Court. During the searches, agents seized several luxury cars and pickup trucks at César Trindade’s dealership.
Operation Rota Caipira was carried out this Wednesday (26) in the states of Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Mato Grosso, Piauí, Rondônia, Roraima, São Paulo, Amazonas, Tocantins, Maranhão, Ceará, Goiás.
There were 195 warrants issued by the Justice, 28 of which were for preventive detention and 95 search and seizure orders in 13 states. In addition to the judicial hijacking of three rural properties, the seizure of 16 aircraft linked to the scheme and orders to block amounts that could reach R$ 300 million from criminals.
Police reported that the investigation began in November 2020, with an exchange of information between the Federal Police and the Military Police of Pará, after the seizure of 815 kg of cocaine in Tucumã (PA).
The PF in Araguaína discovered that the criminal organization acquired cocaine outside the country and transported it through a complex aerial structure to strategic points located in the states of Pará, Tocantins and Maranhão.
At first, the final destination of the shipments were the Northeastern capitals, such as São Luís (MA), Teresina (PI) and Fortaleza (CE). The police do not rule out that the drug was also sent to countries in Europe through ports in the region, but this is still being investigated.
PF finds money in drum during operation Rota Caipira
The group was supposedly headed by Paulo Márcio Ribeiro Santos, who has been in prison since 2020 after the drug was seized. His lawyer, Paulo Roberto, said that the operation will clarify the facts. “There’s no evidence against him, but we also didn’t have the condition to know who owned those narcotics. With this I believe the police will unravel all this, ”he said.
During an interview with TV Anhanguera, delegate Allan Reis explained that the objective of the operation this Wednesday (26) was to end the support network.
“The main suspect has already been arrested by the Federal Police of Araguaína. He was being investigated by the Rondônia PF, when preventive detention was ordered and he fled to Tocantins. Here he set up all this logistics and in 2020 we arrested him for trafficking 800 kg of cocaine. Today, the operation has the objective of dismantling all those who provided logistical support to this investigated person.