Police in Brazil said Tuesday that they have arrested eleven people and seized more than three tons of marijuana in a raid carried out in the country's biggest slum located in the city of Rio de Janeiro.
Police said the raid on the shantytown in Rio's Rocinha neighborhood was originally intended to arrest Antonio Francisco Bonfim Lopes, an alleged drug lord who is also accused of running a money laundering scheme.
Although Lopes managed to evade arrest, police recovered three tonnes of marihuana, a garage full of stolen cars, thousands of pirated DVDs and CDs, fake shoes as well as stolen fridges and other kitchen appliances during the raid.
Tuesday's police operation reportedly involved more than 200 officers and several helicopters. Officials said later that the raiding police team did not meet any resistance from the drug-gang members and added that not a single shot was fired during the entire operation.
Lopes is one among the most wanted criminals in Brazil. Authorities there have already issued more than 30 arrest warrants against Lopes, who is also known as Nem, and declared a reward of around $2,800 for information leading to his arrest.
Brazilian authorities claim that the ongoing police crackdown on organized criminal gangs based in Rio's slums is intended to improve security in the city before it hosts the World Cup Football in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016.
by RTT Staff Writer
April 20, 2011