ASUNCION – Paraguayan authorities on Saturday arrested one of the most-wanted drug traffickers operating on the country’s border with Brazil, the Senad anti-narcotics agency said.
Ireneu Domingo Soligo was captured early Saturday at one of his ranches in Capitan Bado, a town in the northeastern Paraguayan province of Amambay, which borders the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul.
The suspect was found in his room sleeping (while) his wife and their two children, both minors, were inside the home, Senad said in a statement, adding that three of Soligo’s bodyguards were arrested without a single gunshot fired.
Soligo faces prison sentences of 15 years and 26 years handed down by courts in the Brazilian states of Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso do Sul, respectively, in both cases for international drug trafficking, the statement read.
It added that intelligence reports led authorities to Capitan Bado, a town across the border from the Brazilian town of Aral Moreira where Soligo was suspected of running his operations.
The report added that Soligo has ties to the First Capital Command, or PCC, a gang based in Sao Paulo prisons, and to another most-wanted drug trafficker on the Paraguayan-Brazilian border, fugitive Brazilian Luiz Carlos Da Rocha.
The PCC, whose top leaders continue to pull the strings from behind bars, was the criminal group that paralyzed Brazil’s largest city in 2006 with a series of attacks that left dozens dead.
It marked the second important arrest by Senad in its battle against cartels operating in that border region, following the capture of Brazilian Jarvis “Chimenes” Pavao last December, also in Amambay.
Soligo was transferred to Senad’s headquarters in Asuncion, where President Fernando Lugo had arrived to meet with the head of that agency, Cesar Aquino, for a report on the operation.
In less than six months, we’ve captured two of the most-wanted drug traffickers through a meticulous and (bi-national) effort, Lugo told reporters.
Authorities said after Pavao’s arrest that he was one of several Brazilians wanted for smuggling drugs between Pedro Juan Caballero, the capital of Amambay, and Ponta Pora, a city in Mato Grosso do Sul.
Paraguayan police arrested one of Soligo’s sons in 2006 in possession of 120 kilos (264 lbs.) of cocaine after a shootout on a ranch near the Brazilian border.
Jonathan Soligo was nabbed after a twin-engine aircraft landed on a secret airstrip on the drug kingpin’s ranch and while between six and 10 armed men were unloading four bags holding the high-grade cocaine.
Senad said then that the elder Soligo managed to escape on that occasion but may have been wounded in the exchange of gunfire.
JULY 3, 2010
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