São Paulo: Folha Reveals All About Secret Narcocorruption Investigation!

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The Colombian drug-lord and post-surgery chief of the Lollipop Guild: Not exactly a poster child for the local plastic surgery industry. The eyes are an especial horror.

Want to get rid of drug trafficking in São Paulo? Just get rid of the state narcotics division. —Juan Carlos “Chupeta” Abadia.

Our policy on anonymous sources is a good one, and bears repeating. It begins: “We resist granting anonymity except as a last resort to obtain information that we believe to be newsworthy and reliable.” The information should be of compelling interest, and unobtainable by other means. We resist granting anonymity for opinion, speculation or personal attacks. –Bill Keller, New York Times, “Assuring Our Credibility” (June 23, 2005)

Anonymous sources: Use anonymous attribution only when essential and even then provide the most specific possible identification of the source. Simply quoting “a source,” unmodified, is almost always prohibited. –The Associated Press Stylebook (See also Style Points: AP on Saving Daylight and Citing Sources)

Três divisões da polícia são investigadas: More fallout from the arrest of Chupeta — Ramirez-Abadía — the Colombian drug lord found living in an exclusive gated community in São Paulo.

See also

Valor pago pelo megatraficante colombiano Juan Carlos Abadía nos 4 casos de extorsão chegariam a R$ 2,5 milhões

Sum paid to Colombian drug trafficker Juan Carlos Abadía in four cases of extortion may be as much as R$2.5 million!

Or they may not be.

Policiais suspeitos são do Denarc, do Detran e da delegacia fazendária; são ao menos dez e todos eles permanecem na ativa

Suspect cops are from DENARC, DETRAN [the traffic division], and the state treasury police; there are at least 10, and all remain on active duty.

MARIO CESAR CARVALHO and ANDRÉ CARAMANTE report for the Folha de S. Paulo‘s intrepid reportagem local.

And what is their source on all this, anyway?

The story consists almost entirely of what some unidentified someone told the Folha that the Colombian told the feds.

Abou a secret state antimafia investigation.

Which is apparently not so secret anymore.

Which seems like it could actually be a bad thing, in theory. How does the Folha justify blowing the lid off what it characterizes as a secret freaking investigation anyway? Based on anonymous sourcing?

O megatraficante colombiano Juan Carlos Ramírez Abadía foi extorquido ao menos quatro vezes por três divisões da Polícia Civil de São Paulo, segundo investigação sigilosa conduzida por promotores. Para não prendê-lo, os policiais teriam recebido cerca de R$ 2,5 milhões -incluídos nesse valor um jipe Toyota, modelo Land Cruiser Prado, e um jet-ski.

Colombian drug trafficker Juan Carlos Ramírez Abadía was extorted at least four times by three divisions of the state judicial police of São Paulo, according to a secret investigation conducted by prosecutors. In exchange for not arresting him, the police allegedly received some R$2.5 million — including a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and a jet-ski.

A Folha revelou em agosto último que policiais do Denarc eram suspeitos de extorquir US$ 800 mil do traficante. Depois disso, dois envolvidos prestaram depoimentos revelando outras três extorsões.

The Folha revealed in August that DENARC officers were suspected of extorting some US$800,000 from the trafficker. Afterwards, two officers involved gave statements revealing another three extortions.

Os policiais provavelmente não sabiam que o colombiano que extorquiam era Abadía. Só a recompensa que os EUA ofereciam pela prisão do traficante era bem superior ao valor que tomaram dele: US$ 5 milhões. Também não deviam conhecer a informação do DEA (a agência antidrogas dos EUA) de que o colombiano tinha uma fortuna de US$ 1,8 bilhão (cerca de R$ 3,42 bilhões).

The police probably did not know who they were extorting. The reward offered by the USA alone is $5 million. They must also not have known of the DEA report that says the man has a fortune of $1.8 billion.

Yes, but I doubt he has that much cash lying around.

Os casos mais graves têm como protagonistas delegados e investigadores do Denarc, a delegacia encarregada de combater o tráfico: foram duas extorsões mediante seqüestro, segundo os depoimentos.

The most serious cases involve squad leaders and detectives from DENARC, which is in charge of combating drug trafficking: They carried out two extortion attempts by means of kidnapping, according to the statements.

And how do we know this again?

No primeiro caso, os policiais teriam seqüestrado Pacho, apelido do colombiano Henry Edval Lagos, um dos integrantes do grupo que acompanhava Abadía no Brasil. Pacho foi seqüestrado numa pista de kart em Aldeia da Serra, onde Abadía vivia num condomínio de luxo até ser preso pela Polícia Federal em 7 de agosto.

In the first case, the policemen allegedly kidnapped Pacho, the nickname of the Colombian Henry Edval Lagos, a member of the group that accompanied Abadia to Brazil. He was snatched from a go-kart track in Aldeia da Serra, where Abadia lived in a deluxe condominum before being arrested by federal police on August 7.

O empresário Daniel Maróstica, dono de uma loja de jet-ski na zona sul e que ajudava Abadía a comprar bens, afirmou a promotores que o delegado Irani Guedes Barros levou US$ 280 mil para soltar Pacho.

Businessman Daniel Maróstica, who owns a jet-ski shop in the Southern District and helped Abadia buy [stuff], told prosecutors that police official Irani Guedes Barros got US$280,000 to let Pacho go.

A entrega do resgate é uma cena de cinema à espera de um diretor para filmá-la. O empresário afirma ter deixado os US$ 280 mil em um Peugeot na avenida Vital Brasil, no Butantã (zona oeste de SP), com a chave no contato. Os policiais levaram o carro com o dinheiro; depois de chegarem onde o seqüestrado estava, ele voltou com o veículo já sem os dólares.

The handing over of the ransom was just like a scene from a movie in search of a director to film it.

Cheap sensationalism alert!

See also

The businessman said he left $280,000 in a Peugeot on Vital Brasil Avenue, in Butantã (Western District) with the keys in the ignition. The police took off with the car and the money; after arriving at the location where Pacho was being held, he returned with car, minus the dollars.

You call that a scene from an action movie?

Where are the explosions and corpses?

It sounds about as exciting as dropping the kids off for soccer practice.

Go rent Man on Fire, with Denzel Washington.
Now that is a kidnapping movie.

No segundo seqüestro investigado, os policiais teriam levado Ana Maria Stein, mulher de Maróstica, para o Denarc, no Butantã. O empresário disse aos promotores e aos policiais da PF que esse seqüestro foi conduzido pelo delegado Pedro Pórrio, que foi do Denarc e há uma semana dirige o setor de investigações da 5ª Delegacia Seccional, responsável por parte da zona leste de SP. À Folha Pórrio negou as acusações (leia mais na página C4).

In the second kidnapping under investigation, the police took Maróstica’s wife, Ana Maria Stein, off to DENARC in Butantã. The businessman told prosecutors and feds that this kidnapping was directed by Pedro Pórrio of DENARC who last week was found running the investigations section of the 5th Sectional Precinct, response for the Eastern District of the city.

They took her in to the precinct?

And that constitutes a kidnapping?

Pórrio denied the accusations to the Folha. (Read more on p. C4).

The accusation that he took the wife to DENARC?

What happened at DENARC that would make the alleged incident a crime?

No money is added to the grand total of payoffs with respect to this incident, after all.

Não é a primeira vez que Pórrio é acusado de extorsão. O traficante Ronaldo de Freitas, o Naldinho, disse, em 2005, que deu R$ 300 mil a Pórrio e a mais dois policiais do Denarc. O caso nunca foi investigado.

It is not the first time Pórrio has been accused of extortion. Trafficker Ronaldo de Freitas, known as Naldinho, said in 2005 that he gave R$300,000 to Pórrio and another two DENARC policeman. The case was never investigated.

O delegado, segundo depoimento de Maróstica, pediu US$ 1 milhão de resgate. Na negociação, Abadía abaixou o valor para US$ 800 mil, mais um jipe Toyota e um jet-ski. O Land Cruiser foi vendido pelos policiais por R$ 120 mil, segundo relato dos que estiveram envolvidos no episódio Abadía ironizou o fato de ter sofrido dois ataques do Denarc. Ao depor à PF após a prisão, disse ao superintendente em São Paulo, Jaber Makul Hanna Saad: “Quer acabar com o tráfico em São Paulo? Basta acabar com o Denarc”.

Pórrio, according to Maróstica’s statements, asked for $1 million ransom, but Abadia negotiated it down to $800,000, a Toyota jeep and a jet-ski. The Land Cruiser was sold for R$120,000, according to persons involved in the episode. Abadia joked about the fact that he was attacked twice by DENARC. In a statement to feds after being arrested, he told the state superintendent, Hanna Saad: “You wanna get rid of the drug trade in São Paulo? Just get rid of DENARC.”

“The fact that”? It’s still an allegation, right?

A colorful detail.

Then again, consider the source, right? A man with an occupational bias against the narcotics squad?

And once again: How do we know all this?

O custo dos laranjas

The cost of front-men

As outras duas extorsões que o traficante diz ter sofrido têm um motivo comum: o uso de laranjas para esconder o patrimônio que acumulava no Brasil. A delegacia fazendária da Polícia Civil descobriu que ele comprara uma lancha de R$ 2 milhões e a colocara em nome de um funcionário da empresa de Maróstica. Abadía contou que pagou R$ 400 mil para que os policiais não fizessem uma devassa em seu patrimônio.

The other two extorsion attempts were due to a common factor: The use of fronts to hide assets he was acquiring in Brazil. The treasury precinct of the state police discovered he had bought a R$2 million yacht in the name of an employee of Maróstica’s company. Abadia said he paid R$400,000 so the police would not look into his finances.

O colombiano também contou informalmente a delegados da PF que pagou propina a policiais do Detran quando eles souberam que carros de R$ 200 mil estavam em nome de laranja. Os valores pagos, porém, não foram apurados nem se sabe o nome dos envolvidos.

The Colombian also told feds, off the record, that he paid brides to DETRAN police when they found out his R$200,000 cars were in the name of fronts. The amounts he says he paid, however, were not discovered, nor were the name of those involved.

As primeiras revelações sobre as extorsões foram feitas informalmente por Abadía à PF. Como os supostos crimes a serem investigados são de caráter estadual (corrupção passiva e extorsão, entre outros), o caso está com o Gaeco, o grupo do Ministério Público que investiga o crime organizado. Os promotores não se manifestam. Alegam que a investigação está na fase de busca de provas.

The first revelations about the extortion plots were made informally by Abadia to the feds. But as the crimes to be investigated are infractions of state law (passive corruptions and extortion among others), the case is being handled by GAECO, a group from the public prosecutor’s office that investigates organized crime. The prosecutors did not comment. They say they are still in search of evidence.

If the Folha did not get the story from those GAECO prosecutors — or did it — then who did it get it from?

And what is the leaked story going to do to the prosecutors’ “secret” investigation, anyway?

Which you would presume was secret for a good reason.

What justifies the Folha breaking it?

See also

The only really new element that I can see here is the alleged R$400,000 to treasury (tax and financial crimes) police.

The charge against DETRAN was “informal.” Which makes it sort of like a rumor, right? So why report it?

The Folha inflates developments in the case with some fancy foreign currency conversion, stating the new astounding total of payoffs in reals (R$2.5 million).

The previous figure of US$800,000 (R$1.6 million at the time) has inflated in the meantime because of the recently plunge of the goddamn US$.

Interesting story, but much thinner than it looks.

And based on what sources, anyway?

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