São Paulo Crime Blotter: “Phony Judge Extorts the Law King of the Camelôs!”

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The Law King: Found guilty of making a R$1.5 million indecent proposal to the president of a parliamentary probe of pirated goods.

Falsas autoridades extorquiam dinheiro de chinês amigo de Law Kin Chong: G1/Globo reports that “persons impersonating public officials were extorting money from a Chinese man who is a friend of Law Kin Chong.”

On Law Kin, or Law King — the Brazilian press is amazingly indifferent to the spelling of people’s names — see

On an interesting parallel case involving the Great Sino-Paraguayan Silk Road of Dubious Provenance, do a search on “Zhenli Ye Gon.”

On impersonating the properly constituted authorities, see also:

There was an weird little case of a toll-both robbery in the Vale do Paraiba earlier this year, or late last year, in which the armed robbers pulled up in what looked to be an authentic Federal Police SUV. The “megaoperation” in the Complexo do Alemão in Rio cited the gang who pulled off this feat as one of its intended targets, I believe. A joint state-federal police operation called Divisas Seguras or some such has been working on cleaning up the Vale do Paraiba transportation corridor all year.

Shantytown dwellers in Rio sometimes complain that they have difficulty knowing the difference between authentic and false police “blitzes.” The taking of the Kelson’s shantytown, for example, was reportedly carried off by men in police uniforms who identified themselves as “militia.” In that case, however, the men apparently were cops. They just happened to be on their coffee break at that moment.

When the Central Bank in Fortaleza, Ceará was emptied of a quarter of a billion reals a year or so back, in a tunneling scheme worthy of Hogan’s Heroes, astonishing tales emerged afterwards of crooked cops all over Brazil going after the heisters — to get their hands on the money, not to arrest them.

The Estadão, as I recall — this is off the top of my head — reported a case of a man in rural São Paulo, with reputed ties to the PCC, who was allegedly murdered for just this reason, dumped in a well — and then buried at city expense. He was an elected city council alternate.

Duas pessoas foram presas em flagrante nesta segunda-feira (26) por extorquir um comerciante chinês naturalizado brasileiro, amigo do também chinês naturalizado Law Kin Chong, apontado pela Polícia Federal como o maior contrabandista do Brasil. Os dois detidos se apresentavam como juiz e promotor de justiça e prometiam facilidades junto à polícia.

Two persons were arrested in flagrante delicto on Monday for extorting a naturalized Brazilian citizen of Chinese origin, a friend of the likewise naturalized Law Kin Chong, who is accused by the federal police of being the biggest smuggler in Brazil. The two men represente themselves as a judge and prosecutor and promised to ease the way for the man with police.

Segundo Fernando Shimidt, delegado titular do Setor de Investigações Gerais (SIG), da Polícia Civil, no momento da prisão, a dupla portava carteira das respectivas atividades (juiz e promotor), além de papéis timbrados da própria Polícia Civil. De acordo com o delegado, a vítima confirmou a amizade com Law. O delegado afirma que não há indícios de envolvimento entre eles.

According to Fernando Shimidt [sic?], the head of the General Investigations Section (SIG) of the state judicial police, at the moment of their arrest, the two men were carrying the ID of those two professions, as well as papers on the letterhead of the state judicial police. According to the investigator, the victim confirmed his friendship with Law. The SIG chief says there are no indications they are involved with one another.

Yes, he is Fernando Shimidt de Paula.

Um dossiê sobre Law também foi encontrado com as falsas autoridades. A estratégia, segundo Shimidt, era obter R$ 20 mil da vítima. Eles diziam que havia ligações telefônicas entre o comerciante e Law tratando de contrabando e que um mandado de prisão seria expedido. Ofereciam facilidades junto à polícia para que a vítima não fosse presa.

A dossier on Law was also found in the possession of the false officials. The strategy, according to Shimidt, was to obtain R$20,000 from the victim.

That actually sounds more like the immediate objective than the strategy.

They said there were wiretaps of phone conversations between the businessman and Law dealing with contraband, and that an arrest warrant had been issued. They offered to mediate with police so that the victim would not be arrested.

O comerciante, naturalizado há 20 anos, avisou a polícia. Um encontro foi marcado na tarde desta segunda-feira (26). Um dos acusados compareceu ao local e a polícia o prendeu em flagrante. O comparsa foi preso em seguida depois que o detido mencionou a participação dele. Ambos negam o crime.

The businessman, a Brazilian citizen for 20 years, informed the police. A meeting was scheduled for Monday afternoon. One of the accused arrived at the location and was arrested in the act. His partner was arrested as soon as the first man arrested mentioned his role in the scheme. Both deny the crime.

And what were their names?

“As ameaças começaram, segundo o comerciante, depois da prisão de Law [no último dia 14]. Acreditamos que a comunidade chinesa e japonesa de São Paulo eram os alvos da dupla”, conta Fernando Shimidt.

“The threats began, the businessman said, after Law’s arrest [on November 14.] We believe the Chinese and Japanese community of São Paulo were the targets of the pair,” says Shimidt.

There is a lovely, lively little Japantown in São Paulo. Nothing like Los Angeles or San Francisco, but visiting it gives you a certain saudade.

Os dois suspeitos serão encaminhados ao Centro de Detenção Provisória de Pinheiros. Além do crime de extorsão, eles responderão por falsidade de documentos.

The two were sent to the temporary detention center in Pinheiros. Besides extortion, they will answer to charges of forgery.

And what were they names? Who were their daddies?

In Brazilian journalism, the Five Ws tend to be optional.

The Estadão, meanwhile, has the following information (I gist): The victim, identified only as Y.Y.Y., was approached by a man claiming to be “Ermelino Matarazzo,” justice of the peace, who warned him that a “federal police wiretap” existed and that Y.Y.Y. would be “the next one arrested.”

“Matarazzo” said that for R$20,000, he could make the problem go away.

There is a real Ermelino Matarazzo, the grandson (b. 1918) of Count Francesco Matarazzo — yes, the Lorenzo de Medici of those Matarazzos. There is a neighborhood near Guarulhos named after the gentleman. USP recently built an extension campus there.

The real name of “Matarazzo” is Herman Lennon Gomes de Moraes, 29. (The Beatles are huge in Brazil.) He introduced his partner, Rodney Albert Barbosa, 35, to Y.Y.Y. as a federal prosecutor. Both presented (fake) ID to that effect.

Arrested, Moraes told police he was a broker at the São Paulo Stock Exchange (BOVESPA), which the exchange did not confirm. Barbosa claimed to be the brother of a state civil policeman who was also planning to arrest Y.Y.Y.

The gentleman had two very nice cars, which police think they earned applying the same blackmail scheme to other Chinese and Japanese businessmen in the area.

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