Mato Grosso: Cops Drop in Commander Case

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Vintage roleta with bichos. Source: Musem of the Policia Civil, Rio de Janeiro

Chefe da polícia
pelo telefone
mandou avisar
Que na Carioca
havia uma roleta
para se jogar …

A legislative probe of the drug traffic pointed to six Espirito Santo state police officials and 24 policemen as members of organized crime. All of them belonged to the Scuderie Le Cocq … the members of the Scuderie Le Cocq created a campaign financing scheme for mayors, legislators and aldermen. When these candidates took office, the Scuderie would show up to demand a bribe in the form of fraudulent public contracts. –See Espirito Santo, Brazil: “The Zombie Corpse of the Scuderie Le Cocq”

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

“The mafia got you elected, so now the mafia owns you.”

When we finally get a handle on just how frequently such conversations occur, and do not occur, in Brazil, we will have a handle on the dimensions of political corruption in Brazil.

And not before.

Most of the rest is just hysterical hot air.

I am getting to be pretty firmly convinced of this theory, as the evidence keeps trickling in.

Bem Paraná / Agência Estado (Brazil) on that other development in the Commander Archangel case:

Uma quadrilha foi presa hoje, em Mato Grosso, acusada de operar o jogo do bicho no Estado. Dois delegados da Polícia Civil, seis policiais – quatro militares e dois civis -, além de empresários, foram presos por policiais do Batalhão de Operações Especiais da Polícia Militar (Bope). Ao todo, 17 pessoas foram detidas acusadas de corrupção e formação de quadrilha. Novas prisões serão decretadas, segundo o Ministério Público.

A criminal organization was arrested yesterday in Mato Grosso on charges of running the “numbers rackets” in the State. Two precicint commanders of the state judicial police, six rank and file police agents — four military and two judicial — and business owners were arrested by members of the Mato Gross special operations battalion (BOPE). In all, 17 persons were arrested and charged with corruption and criminal conspiracy. New warrants will be issued, according to the state prosecutor.

A quadrilha era chefiada de dentro do presídio de segurança máxima Pascoal Ramos, em Cuiabá, pelo bicheiro João Arcanjo Ribeiro, o Comendador, de 58 anos. O bicheiro foi transferido hoje para o presídio federal de Campo Grande (MS).

The gang was run from inside the maximum security Pascoal Ramos Prison in Cuiabá by “Commander Archangel,” 58. The bicho banker was transferred today to the federal prison in Campo Grande Mato Grosso do Sul.

Os indícios de envolvimento de delegados e policiais com o crime organizado e o jogo do bicho, até então desarticulado no Estado desde dezembro de 2002, são as escutas telefônicas autorizadas pela Justiça e apreensão de documentos, segundo o promotor Mauro Zaque e a procuradora de Justiça, Eliane Maranhão coordenadora do Grupo de Atuação Especial de Combate ao Crime Organizado (Gaeco).

Evidence of the involvement of police in organized crime and the jogo do bicho, which until now been broken up in the state since December 2002, are court-ordered wiretaps and seized documents, says prosecutor Mauro Zaque and Eliane Maranhão, who coordinates GAECO, the state anti-organized crime office.

Give these people a raise.

Um dos presos, Giovani Zem Rodrigues, genro do bicheiro, era o braço direito da quadrilha para atuar em cidades como Cuiabá, Várzea Grande e no Norte do Estado. Os contatos para manter os jogos de contravenção, propinas e subornos, ocorriam durante visitas ao presídio com as ordens de Arcanjo. Do grupo preso, dois policiais, Basílio Monteiro de Oliveira e Robson Bernardino da Silva, faziam parte do Bope. “Não podemos permitir que o Estado possa atuar de forma criminosa ao invés de combater o crime”, disse Zaque.

One of those arrested, Giovani Zem Rodrigues, the son-in-law of “Commander Archangel,” is the groups principal operator in cities like Cuiabá and Várzea Grande and in the northern part of the state. Contacts regarding illegal gambling and bribes took place during visits to the prisons on Arcanjo’s orders. Of the group arreste, two were members of BOPE. “We canot let the State commit crimes rather than combating crime,” said Zaque.

Did they vet and clear the BOPE troopers they sent to do the arrests before using them?

As ligações telefônicas confirmam o pagamento de propina feito por Arcanjo Ribeiro para não reprimir o jogo do bicho no Estado. Os valores pagos aos policiais e delegados seriam em média de R$ 1,5 mil por mês, segundo investigação do Ministério Público, para evitar prisões e liberar veículos apreendidos.

The telephone wiretaps showed payment of bribes to police in exchange for not busting the jogo in the State. An average monthly payment was R$1,500, according to the state attorney, to avoid arrest and release seized vehicles.

Um dos delegados presos acusados de receber propina, Richard Damasceno, disse que é vítima dos grupos que disputam o jogo do bicho no Estado. A delegada Helena Heloíse Miranda evitou a imprensa.

One of the delegados arrested and accused of taking bribes, Richard Damasceno, said he is the victim of factions competing to control the jogo in the State. The other, Helena Heloise Miranda, avoided the press.

Interesting comment. You would kind of tend to suspect that the jogo do bicho is not a monopoly, in fact. Or that arresting “The Commander” would have put an end to it — “dismantled” it, “up until now.”

Especially in a state that is quite a bit bigger than, say, France.

And a little on the wild and wooly side in parts, one hears.

They don’t call it “thick jungle” for nothing.

Rio alone had its three major bicheiros busted this year, and there is also reportedly cutthroat competition — literally — in the e-bicho (“nickel-hunter” gambling device) industry there as well.

São Paulo? Hard to know. A mafia spreadsheet turned up signs that almost every single police precinct in the metro area was getting payoffs to let bingos operate. And deputy mayors and stuff like that.

Has the other shoe dropped yet?

Not that I have heard.

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