Rio de Janeiro, Dec 5 (IANS/EFE) Brazilian authorities Tuesday arrested 59 police officers accused of ties to drug-trafficking organizations.
The operation was conducted jointly by Rio de Janeiro state’s Public Safety Secretariat, prosecutors and the Federal Police.
In addition to the 59 cops accused of receiving bribes from drug traffickers to look the other way, Operation Clean-Up also led to the arrests of 11 others with purported ties to criminal gangs.
The 70 suspects allegedly aided the Comando Vermelho (Red Command) – the region’s largest criminal organization – in different parts of metropolitan Rio de Janeiro.
The detained officers, most of them assigned to the state police detachment in the city of Duque de Caxias, will be formally charged with criminal conspiracy, drug trafficking, offering or accepting bribes and extortion via kidnapping.
A group of police officers who kidnapped drug traffickers and their family members to extort high ransom payments was identified after a nearly year-long investigation, prosecutors said.
“We’re not going to tolerate any more corrupt police in our corps,” the commander of the Rio state police, Col. Erir Ribeiro Costa Filho, said at a press conference.