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Brazil police thwart plot to murder, kidnap officials

#Brazil #police #thwart #plot #murder #kidnap #officials

Brazilian police on Wednesday rounded up participants in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate and kidnap public figures, including an ex-judge, authorities said.

Officers served nine arrest warrants and carried out 24 raids in the capital, Brasilia, as well as in the states of Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rondonia and Parana.

According to the federal police (PF), the group was plotting to commit “homicides and kidnapping for ransom” in at least five of Brazil’s 26 states.

The targets were “public servants and officials,” it said.

PF members who asked not to be named told AFP that former judge Sergio Moro, now a senator, was among the targets.

Moro had been the lead judge in the graft case that sent current leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to jail before having his conviction annulled, and later served as justice minister to Lula’s predecessor and rival Jair Bolsonaro.

The gang targeted in Wednesday’s operation, PF sources said, allegedly had ties with the First Capital Command (PCC), Brazil’s largest criminal group.

Moro himself, on Twitter, pointed the finger at the PCC for “retaliation plans against me, my family and other public agents.” 

In 2019, he had ordered the transfer of PCC leader Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, alias “Marcola,” and 21 other senior gang members to a maximum-security prison.

Justice Minister Flavio Dino said the plot involved plans to kill “several senior officials, including a senator and a prosecutor,” who he did not name.

The PF statement said the attacks planned by the group “could have ocurred simultaneously.”

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