Rio: Wheel of Fortune Yields “Get Out of Jail Free Card” for 84 Military Police

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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 …

–Donga, “Pelo Telefone” (1916)

Que o chefe da polícia
Carioca, avisa
Pelo celular
Que lá na praça Onze
Tem um video-pôquer
Para se jogar…

–Gilberto Gil, “Pela Internet” (1997)

Fortune, good night; smile once more, turn thy wheel. King Lear, II, 2, 173

Justiça solta 84 PMs acusados de envolvimento com tráfico e jogos ilegais: Última Instância reports that 84 Rio state military police arrested on suspicion of involvement in drug trafficking and illegal gambling have been released — but for some reason does not explain the reason given for the release order.

You would think a news service for lawyers would have a readership interested in such details.

(The arrest warrants, one reads elsewhere, were “provisional.”

Provided that what?)

A Justiça Federal determinou a libertação de 72 policiais militares suspeitos de envolvimento com o tráfico de drogas e de outros 12 acusados de participarem da máfia dos jogos ilegais no Rio de Janeiro. Eles foram soltos entre a noite de quarta-feira e a tarde de quinta (20/12).

A federal court ordered the release of 72 military police suspected of involvement with the drug traffic and another 12 accused of participating in the illegal gambling mafia in Rio de Janeiro. They were released between Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon.

A federal court?

Which federal court?

O Dia explains:

O juiz Flávio Lucas, da 4ª Vara Federal Criminal, determinou na noite desta quarta-feira a liberação de policiais civis e militares acusados de envolvimento com a máfia dos caça-níqueis. Do grupo que foi solto, há suspeitos de ligação com o contraventor Rogério Andrade — a maioria presa desde o ano passado, após investigações sobre a guerra envolvendo o controle dos pontos das máquinas na Zona Oeste.

Judge Flávio [Oliveira] Lucas of the Fourth Federal Criminal Bar ordered the release of police charged with involvement in gambling rackets. Of the group released, there are suspicions of ties with Rogério Andrade — the majority of them had been detained since last year after investigations into the war for control of gambling machine venues in the Western Zone.

If I ever move to Rio, remember me to skip the section in the real estate classifieds for the Western Zone.

O advogado Carlo Huberth Luchione, que defende o policial civil Wellington Diogo Silva de Aquino — um dos beneficiados pela 4ª Vara Federal Criminal —, explicou que a decisão foi tomada em esfera federal porque 1ª Vara Criminal de Bangu declinou da competência de julgar os acusados. Com isso, o processo foi encaminhado ao juiz Flávio Lucas.

 Attorney Huberth, who represents state judicial policeman Wellington Diogo Silva de Aquino — one of those released by the Fourth Federal Bar — explained that the decision was taken at the federal level because the First Criminal Bar of Bangu declared itself incompetent to judge the accused. With that, the case was referred to judge Lucas. 

Who decided what?

“Tingüí”was the case in which former state judicial police chief Lins — now a state lawmaker — was accused of being an equity partner in illegal gambling enterprises, and putting the “fix” in for same.

Along with a group of judicial police officers known as the Inhos, who were transferred to federal custody a couple of weeks ago. One of them reportedly — prosecutors represented, in successfully applying for the transfer — received an unscheduled, unauthorized furlough to “go meet a young woman in a Barra de Tijuca shopping mall.”

Todos os policiais soltos por ordem judicial haviam sido presos no final do ano passado, nas operações Tingüí e Gladiador, da Polícia Federal.

All the policemen released by judicial order had been jailed since the end of last year, during the federal police operations known as Tingüí and Gladiator.

Segundo a Polícia Militar, 75 policiais haviam sido presos na operação Tingüí, que investigava o tráfico de drogas. A PM não soube informar, no entanto, quantos haviam sido presos na operação Gladiador, contra a máfia dos jogos ilegais.

The state PM said 75 police had been arrested in Tingüí, which investigated the drug traffic. It could not inform, however, as to how many had been arrested in Gladiator, which targeted illegal gambling.

A operação Tingüí foi desencadeada em dezembro de 2006, quando foi descoberta a existência de um suposto esquema de envolvimento de policiais de quatro batalhões das zonas norte e oeste da cidade do Rio com traficantes de drogas.

Tingüí was “unleashed” in December 2006, when the existence of a supposed scheme of the involvement of police from four battalions in the Northen and Western district of the city with drug traffickers was discovered.

A operação Gladiador desarticulou, também em dezembro do ano passado, um esquema de proteção policial à chamada máfia dos caça-níqueis.

Gladiator, in the same month of December 2006, “broke up” a [supposed] scheme of police protection for the so-called “nickel-hunter mafia.”

On the Lins case at the time:

O ex-chefe de Polícia Civil e deputado estadual eleito Álvaro Lins foi acusado de pertencer à máfia dos caça-níqueis. Ele também estaria envolvido com contrabando de equipamentos eletrônicos, formação de quadrilha e lavagem de dinheiro para campanha eleitoral. A Polícia Federal pediu a prisão de Lins, mas a Justiça entendeu que não havia elementos suficientes para conceder. Entretanto, a Justiça autorizou um mandato de busca e apreensão na casa dele que só chegou à Polícia Federal após ele ter sido diplomado deputado e, por isso, conseguir imunidade parlamentar.

The former chief of the state judicial police and state lawmaker Álvaro Lins was accused of belonging to the “nickel-hunter mafia.” He was also allegedly involved in the smuggling of electronic equipment, criminal conspiracy and money-laundering for purposes of political campaigning. The federal police asked for an arrest warrant for LIins, but the court found there was not sufficient evidence to grant it. The court did authorize a search warrant for Lins’ home, but it only arrived after Lins had been sworn in as a state legislator, which conferred parliamentary immunity on him.

The PM side of the case, also from the breaking news at the time:

A PF informou que há mais 45 mandados de prisão contra policiais no Rio, todos por roubo de carga e ligação com a máfia de caça níqueis. Na ação, foram utilizados 20 homens da PM, comandados por oficiais da própria corporação. Foram presos três policiais e o Coronel Celso Nogueira, que comandava o 14º BPM (Bangu), na Zona Oeste. Pela manhã, 75 policiais militares foram presos sob a acusação de envolvimento com o tráfico de drogas. A Polícia Federal investigou o caso durante oito meses, depois que recebeu a informação de que angolanos refugiados estariam ensinando táticas de guerrilha na Favela do Muquiço, em Guadalupe, subúrbio do Rio.

The PM reported that 45 arrest warrants have been served against Rio PMs, all for [loadjacking] and ties to the “nickel-hunter mafia.” The action used 20 PMs commanded by PM officers. Three policemen and Col. Nogueira, commander of the 14th Battalion (Western Zone) were arrested. In the morning, another 75 military policemen were arrested on charges of involvement with the drug traffic. The Federal Police investigated for eight months after receiving information that Angolan refugees might be teaching guerrilla tactics in the Favela do Muquiço, in Guadalupe, suburban Rio.

Dos 77 envolvidos – um morreu e outro está desaparecido -, 40 deles serviam no Batalhão de Bangu. O Coronel Celso Nogueira havia sido exonerado na parte da manhã do comando do batalhão.

Of the 77 men charged — one has died and another disappeared — 40 served in the Bangu Battalion. Col. Nogueira was relieved of command this morning.

Operation Hurricane later charged senior members of the judiciary for selling rulings favorable to the same racket.

As part of that case, five lawmakers — including the Naked Mayor’s campaign manager and Lins (a political rival of the mayor’s) — were accused of receiving illegal campaign funding from the folks charged with buying judges, such as Captain Guimarães — past and future eternal president of LIESA, which has a contract with city government.

What ever happened to that? I cannot recall seeing any jubilant festivities at the emergence of conclusive proof that everyone was just the victim of a misunderstanding.

And round and round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows.

See also

Federal attempts to rearrest are not unknown in circumstances like this, it seems to me.

O Dia also notes:

Um dos grupos de policias beneficiados teve a prisão pedida pela primeira vez em agosto do ano passado. Para prender os acusados, agentes da Delegacia de Repressão às Ações do Crime Organizado (Draco) e do Serviço Reservado da PM montaram a Operação Caça-Níquel. Treze PMs — entre eles um oficial —, um ex-cabo e um ex-policial civil foram capturados.

One of the groups of policemen released were arrested for the first time in August 2006, by DRACO agents and members of the Secret Service of the PM, in Operation Nickel-Hunter. Thirteen PMs — among them an officer — a former corporal and a former state judicial policeman were arrested.

Esses acusados foram flagrados por câmeras transportando máquinas de caça-níquel para dentro de bares na Zona Oeste.

These accused were caught on camera carrying “nickel-hunter” machines into Western District bars.

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