The parliamentary commission of inquiry on piracy, like the report of the 9-11 commission, merited publication as a book. The chapter on the Law King is quite an interesting read.
“You, sir, are a bandit, Mr. Law! Get out of São Paulo! If you do not get out on your own, you will leave in a Black Maria!” –Mayor Gilberto Kassab of Sâo Paulo
“A plane crash kills 200 people, and who do they arrest? The guy who owns the whorehouse!”–current São Paulo bar joke, on Mayor Kassab’s crusade against Oscar Maroni.
Law Kin Chong é detido pela PF em São Paulo: Yesterday, it was reported that the king of the Great Sino-Paraguayan Silk Road here in Brazil — the China-born naturalized Brazilian citizen who is reputedly the nation’s biggest smuggler — was opening a new mall in downtown São Paulo.
Even though he is still serving his sentence for trying to bribe a federal lawmaker who was chairing a special commission of inquiry into the Great Sino-Paraguayan Silk Road here in Brazil. See
Today, the man is busted again.
The peculiar detail here, as it often is, is the conduct of São Paulo’s mayor — who is, I tend to think, something of a peculiar fellow.
The news of a new Chong emporium in the downtown redevelopment zone might, I think, have been taken by some as a setback to the mayor’s “someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets” campaign to clean up that part of town.
As was news that every police precinct in town was listed on a mafia spreadsheet purportedly indicating payoffs from the caça-níqueis rackets. The man’s instinct at such junctures tends to be to hit the moral-panic button.
O empresário chinês Law Kin Chong foi detido pela Polícia Federal (PF) em sua residência no Morumbi, na Zona Sul de São Paulo, por volta das 15h desta quarta-feira (14). De acordo com agentes que realizaram a operação, ele foi preso em flagrante pelos crimes de contrabando e descaminho.
Chinese businessman Law Kin Chong was detained by federal police at his home in Morumbi, inthe southern district of São Paulo, around 3:00 this afternoon. According to agents conducting the arrest, he was arrested in flagrante committing the crimes of smuggling and descaminho.
The latter, according to the glossary provided by the federal prosecutor, being defined, roughly, as illegal transportation for the purpose of avoiding duties and taxes collected at ports, airports, border crossings, and so on.
There was a really weird incident last year in which the Law King went to visit his sick father in the hospital and then vanished from under the noses of a considerable military police escort.
A local TV cameraman caught him being bundled into a fire brigade ambulance, and news reports on the incident suggested that a proper court order had not been issued for the humanitarian furlough.
Whatever happened to that incident?
This, mind you, was when he was still incarcerated, before being granted an extraordinarily lenient house-arrest regime of the kind they hand out around here with surprising frequency.
He also figured in Operation Anaconda, which involved ownership of judges and cops by the likes of Chong, and the Archangel of Cuiabá — who had a newspaper editor killed for calling him “the Al Capone” of the region — and Captain Guimarães — who heads an organization that has a contract with the city government of Rio (and the Globo network) to put on Carnaval — and all those sorts of fine, upstanding, though misunderstood, legitimate businessmen and paragons of the libertine-libertarian ideal that dot the landscape here.
A Polícia Federal anunciou para a tarde desta quinta-feira (14) uma coletiva para falar sobre a prisão do empresário. O advogado Miguel Pereira Neto, que chegou ao Morumbi por volta das 15h45 e se apresentou como defensor de Chong, disse que a prisão será revertida. “Meu cliente não é responsável pela mercadoria de terceiros”, disse.
The feds announced a press conference for 4:00 pm to discuss the arrest. Attorney Pereira Neto, who arrived in Morumbi around 3:45 and said he was Chong’s defense attorney, said the arrest will be reversed. “My client is not responsible for merchandise belonging to third parties,” he said.
Nesta manhã, o novo empreendimento de Law na capital foi vistoriado por autoridades municipais e promotores do Grupo de Atuação Especial de Repressão ao Crime Organizado (Gaeco), com apoio de policiais militares. A PF foi chamada ao local após terem sido encontrados objetos contrabandeados.
This morning, Law’s new enterprise (a downtown shopping mall) was searched by city officials and state organized crime prosecutors from GAECO, with support from military police. The PF was called to the location after smuggled objects were discovered.
A subprefeitura da Mooca, na Zona Leste da cidade, já havia multado em R$ 2.436.448 a Calinda Administração e Participação, do empresário chinês, responsável pela construção do Shopping Pari. A multa foi aplicada por falta de alvará de funcionamento e dos autos de verificação dos bombeiros e do Contru, além da ausência de um estudo sobre o impacto do shopping no tráfego da região – documento obrigatório para centros comerciais desse porte.
The subprefecture of Mooca, in the Eastern District of São Paulo, had already fined the Chinese businessman’s Calinda Management and Investments, which built the Pari Shopping Center, in the amount of R$2,436,448. The fine was for lack of an operating permit and certificates from the fire department and building inspector, as well as the lack of an impact study on traffic in the region — which is mandatory for commercial centers of this size.
Funny they did not mention any of that yesterday.
Skipping some of the background now.
Pela manhã, o prefeito de São Paulo, Gilberto Kassab (DEM), havia vistoriado o novo empreendimento de Chong na capital. No local, “expulsou” o chinês da capital. “O senhor é um bandido senhor Law. Sai fora da cidade de São Paulo. Se não sair por bem, vai sair no camburão”, disse o prefeito, em meio a dezenas de blusas, bolsas, bonés e relógios contrabandeados.
In the morning, São Paulo mayor Kassab had inspected Chong’s new enterprise. At the scene, he “expelled” the Chinaman from the city.
Kassab is given to such astonishing outbursts of moral panic.
“You, sir, are a bandit, Mr. Law. Get out of São Paulo. If you do not get out on your own, you will leave in a Black Maria,” the mayor said, amid dozens of smuggled shirts, purses, caps and wristwatches.
Os objetos estavam guardados em uma das lojas do prédio do Shopping Pari, novo empreendimento de Chong na região central da cidade, onde ele também tem o Shopping 25 de Março. A sala teve de ser arrombada para a entrada dos policiais. A Polícia Federal foi chamada mais tarde. No local, foram encontrados, segundo Kassab, objetos contrabandeados suficientes para encher 100 caminhões.
The objects were stored in one of the shops in the Pari Shopping center, a new enterprise of Chong’s in the area, where he also owns the 25 de Março Shopping Center. The room had to be broken into for police to enter. At the location, according to Kassab, were found enough smuggled items to fill 100 trucks.
One hundred truckloads?
Personally, I am shocked! shocked! to discover that smuggling might be going on in the area of the 25 de Março!
As I am sure we all are.
I try not to get embroiled in local politics, but I think I can allow myself the observation that the prospect of reelection for this guy really sort of gives me pause — and makes me nostalgic for Brooklyn borough president Marty “Good Old Marty” Markowitz, who seems almost Eisenhowerian in comparison.