Brazil: “Feds Take Charge of Bicho Beast”


Arcanjo Ribeiro: extradited from Uruguay in 2003.

Arcanjo led a criminal organization that involved “nickel-hunter” gambling machines, jogo do bicho [”numbers rackets] and a factoring house used to drain public money into political campaigns.

A Notícia Digital (Mato Grosso, Brazil) notes the transfer of João Arcanjo Ribeiro — the former state judicial police official turned reputed bicho [“numbers rackets”] king of the state — to federal custody.

See also

“The Archangel” allegedly had a newspaper publisher whacked for reporting on his dealings.  Whacked by a hit squad made up of state military policemen. The man had published an article calling Ribeiro “the Al Capone of Mato Grosso.”

O bicheiro João Arcanjo Ribeiro corrompia agentes públicos, intimidava testemunhas e comandava o jogo do bicho de dentro do presídio Pascoal Ramos, em Cuiabá. Essa foi a justificativa do Ministério Público Estadual para requerer a transferência imediata de Arcanjo para o presídio federal de Campo Grande (MS). Para o MPE, a cela de Arcanjo no Pascoal Ramos funcionava como um “escritório de operações” para a celebração de “negócios comerciais” do crime organizado.

The bicho banker  João Arcanjo Ribeiro corrupted public agents, intimidated witnesses and ran his  illegal jogo do bicho lottery business from inside the Pascoal Ramos prison in Cuiabá. That was the state prosecutor’s argument for requesting his immediate transfer to the federal prison in Campo Grande (Mato Grosso do Sul). In the view of prosecutors, Arcanjo’s cell at Pascoal Ramos functioned as an “operations center” for the “business dealings” of organized crime.

A juíza Selma Rosane Santos Arruda, da 2ª Vara Criminal, atendendo ao pedido do Ministério Público, determinou a transferência de Arcanjo. Segundo o MPE, Arcanjo é um “elemento de altíssima periculosidade, detentor de poder e de patrimônios extraordinários, condenado por alguns crimes e ainda acusado por outros mais”. Além disso, na justificativa, cita que o bicheiro formou um império criminoso comparável às máfias italianas e americanas e que ele é “cheio de simpatizantes nas Polícias Civil e Militar”.

Judge Selma Rosane Santos Arruda of the 2nd Criminal bar accepted this petition and ordered Arcanjo’s transfer.

According to prosecutors, Arcanjo is “an extremely dangerous subject, with extraordinary power and wealth, already sentenced for some of his crimes and accused of still others.” As further justification, it cites the fact that the bicho banker has a criminal empire similar to Italian mafias and “has many sympathizers in the state judicial and military police.”

A transferência de Arcanjo aconteceu no dia em que 14 pessoas foram presas na Operação Arrego, desencadeada pelo Grupo de Atuação Especial de Combate ao Crime Organizado (Gaeco). O genro de Arcanjo, Giovanni Zem Rodrigues, também foi detido na operação.

Arcanjo’s transfer occurred on the same that 14 persons was arrested in Operation [Truce], carried out by the state prosecutor’s special anti-organized crime office (GAECO). Arcanjo’s son-in-law, Giovanni Zem Rodrigues, was also arrested in the operation.

Suborno

Bribery 

O Ministério Público ressalta que Arcanjo praticou, de dentro do presídio, a intimidação de testemunhas. Como exemplo, citou o depoimento de uma testemunha em um julgamento em setembro deste ano. “A testemunha teria tentado sustentar uma mentira para beneficiar Arcanjo”. O julgamento seria do ex-PM Célio Alves de Souza. A testemunha seria o motociclista Getúlio Tonel Leoni, que era responsável por recolher o dinheiro do jogo do bicho e foi assaltado. No julgamento de Célio, Getúlio alegou que não houve roubo para tentar livrar Arcanjo da acusação de ser mandante do assassinato dos três jovens que teriam praticado o assalto. Uma gravação telefônica teria constatado que diálogos foram mantidos para modificar o teor do depoimento. No entanto, correndo o risco de ser preso por mentir perante o júri, Getúlio retificou o depoimento e contou que realmente fora assaltado.

Prosecutors stressed the allegation that Arcanjo was intimidating witnesses from inside prison. As an example, they cited the statement of witness in a trial from September of this year. “The witness tried to maintain a lie on Arcanjo’s behalf.” The trial in question may be that of former military policeman Célio Alves de Souza, and the witness, motorcyclist Getúlio Tonel Leoni, who was in charge of collected money from the jogo do bicho and was robbed in the process. At Célio’s trial, Getúlio said that no robbery had taken place, in a bid to get Arcanjo off the hook on charges of having ordered the murder of the three young men who had carried out the robbery. A telephone wiretap showed that conversations took place regarding the contents of his testimony. However, faced with the risk of being arrested for perjury, Getúlio corrected his statement and said he really was robbed.

Além disso, Arcanjo receberia visitas freqüentes no presídio “em desobediência aos regulamentos”. No documento, também consta que o bicheiro teria tratamento diferenciado dentro daquela unidade prisional. “Este “poder paralelo” deve ser contido, já que não é autêntico e não advém das mesmas origens do poder legítimo. O “poder” de quem corrompe, pratica brutalidades e usurpa as Leis é originado da violência e esta jamais gerará respeito, mas sim mera obediência”.

Furthermore, Arcanjo received frequent visits at the prison, “in violation of the regulations.” The document also report that the prisoner received differential treatment at the facility. “This ‘parallel power’ must be contained, because it is not authentic and does not arise from the same origins as legitimate authority. The ‘power’ of one who corrupts, commits brutal acts and usurps the Laws originates in violence and will never generate respect, but only mere obedience.”

Get this woman a bodyguard. And compare:

Rebelião

Prison rebellion

Para a magistrada, o sistema prisional é deficiente e precário “e a presença do reeducando faz ainda mais suscetível a Undidade, ameaçada que está com a possibilidade de rebelião, o que ocasionaria inclusive perigo à integridade física e à vida do reeducando”.

In the judge’s view, the prison system is deficient and precarious “and the presence of this prisoner [Arcanjo] makes the Unit even more vulnerable, threatening a possible rebellion that might pose a risk to the life and physical integrity of the prisoner.”

Um documento da direção do presídio alerta para a possibilidade de uma rebelião de grandes proporções com início no Raio 4 em direção ao Raio 5, onde Arcanjo estava detido. “Os presos possivelmente farão reféns para negociação com autoridades. O que conclui o Ministério Público, com razão, é que possivelmente um dos reféns possa mesmo ser o reeducando João Arcanjo Ribeiro”.

A document from the prison warden’s office warns of the possibility of a full-blown rebellion, starting in Block 4 and spreading to Block 5, where Arcanjo was housed. “The prisoners may take hostages in order to bargain with authorities. What the prosecutor properly concluded was that one of the hostages might well be Arcanjo Ribeiro.”

More on Ribeiro:

He has been accused of being the principal bicho racketeer in Mato Grosso, of having evaded some R$840 million in taxes and having ordered the murder of the publisher of the Folha do Estado. Known as the Commander, after the title was conferred on him by the state assembly of Mato Grosso, at a time when he was one of the most powerful businessmen in the state, particularly in the factoring sector. Faced with a warrant to take him into preventive custody by federal during Operation Noah’s Ark in 2002, he fled the country and was hunted for more than three months by Interpol. He was located after being arrested for carrying forged documents in Uruguay on April 3, 2003. …

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