The Portuguese Judicial Police announced on Friday (27) the seizure of about 12 million euros in banknotes in a Lisbon house. The amount, equivalent to more than R $ 76 million, was found during a search that is part of the Portuguese arm Operation Entrerprise, a task force that investigates an international drug trafficking and money laundering scheme since 2017.
According to the Portuguese police, the money was found inside more than 10 suitcases in a car in Lisbon. Justice also determined the seizure of two houses in Portugal, which together have an estimated value of 2.5 million euros (see at the end of the report for other numbers of the task force).
Seized suitcase full of euros in kind in Lisbon, Portugal – Photo: Portuguese Judicial Police
The operation has arrested 45 people since Monday, 38 of them in Brazil alone. In Portugal, where the action is called “Operation Camaleão”, no one has been arrested so far, according to local authorities.
With the operation, international investigators believe they have dismantled a gang responsible for bringing 45 tons of cocaine to Europe every year.
In addition to the Portuguese police, authorities from other countries such as Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania and the United Arab Emirates participated in the action.
PF fulfills more than 200 warrants in investigation against drug trafficking
The money laundering scheme, still according to the PF, involved multimillionaires in Brazil and abroad with the use of several persons interposed, known as oranges, and shell companies, with the objective of give a lawful appearance to the profit of trafficking.
The Federal Revenue Service said investigations began after a seizure in September 2017, when 776 kilograms of cocaine, which were being exported through the Port of Paranaguá to the Port of Antwerp, Belgium, were seized.
From this apprehension, still according to the IRS, the PF initiated a police investigation and the two public agencies acted together in the investigations until discovering the criminal organization.
See below for more details of the operation
- Seized money: R $ 2 million and US $ 169 thousand in cash, values seized in Brazil; 300 thousand euros in Belgium.
- Seized properties: 163 properties in Brazil, with an estimated value of R $ 123 million; 2 properties in Spain, worth an estimated € 4 million
- Other seizures: 37 aircraft in Brazil; 70 luxury cars in Brazil, Belgium and Spain.
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