Brazilian police arrested members of the most powerful criminal gang, planned murders and kidnapping of officials

Police in Brazil
Brazil Police / Photo: EPA-EFE / Andre Coelho

Federal police in Brazil have arrested nine suspected members of a criminal group following nationwide raids to thwart an alleged murder and kidnapping plot. Several politicians and public figures were among the targets of the plans, the police said, reports "BBC".

Senator Sergio Moro, a former judge who presided over Brazil's biggest corruption case to date, is also believed to be a target. Police sources said the gang had ties to Brazil's biggest criminal group. Around 24 raids were carried out by police in the capital Brasilia, as well as in the states of Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rondônia and Paraná.

The group planned to carry out "murders and kidnappings for ransom" in at least five of Brazil's 26 states, targeting "public officials and officials," federal police said.

"A conspiracy to kill several public servants was investigated and identified." Today, the Federal Police is making arrests and searches against this gang," Justice Minister Flavio Dino announced on Twitter.

Dino did not name the people wanted by the gang, but Senator Moro said on social media that he and his family were targeted.

He accused Brazil's most powerful criminal group, the First Capital Command (PCC), of conspiring to retaliate against him and other public agents. A government minister told the Reuters news agency that the plan was organized by the gang and was not politically motivated.

During his time as Minister of Justice between 2019 and 2020, Moreau oversaw the transfer of senior gang members, including the leader of the PCC, to a maximum security prison.

The group, a major exporter of cocaine, has been linked to the murder of a top Paraguayan prosecutor last year.

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