The Estadão reports:
SÃO PAULO – The leaders of a gang specializating in one-armed bandit gambling machines were arrested today as part of Operation Monte Carlo, a joint effort by the federal police, the federal prosecutor’s office and in a supporting role, the federaltax authority.
The factoid dislodges a memory of my very first day in Sambodia, leaving my rented flat near the corner of Augusta and Estados Unidos. The entire Avenida Paulista was swarming with gambling halls. I met my first glue-sniffing street urchin —pixote — outside of one.
A court has ordered 8 orders of preventive detentions, 27 temporary arrests, 10 subpoenas, and search and seizure orders for a variety of locations. Among those arrested and taken to federal policy HQ was the leader of the scheme, Carlinhos “Charlie Waterfall” Cachoeira, a man with control over what gambling halls could do business in his personal territory.
The federal police say the racket has operating for 17 years with the assistance of public officials, in locations such as Goiânia and Valparaíso de Goiás, and counted on police and prosecutors who had been paid off to look the other way or support the day-to-day operations, including interventions in non-sanctioned gambling joints, and tipping off racketeers as to when police would move against them, so that the machines could be moved before the raids arrived.
During 15 months of investigation, Monte Carlo has uncovered the bribery of two federal police officers and six precinct captains in Goias, together with four military police corporals, three lieutenant colonels, a captain a major, two sergeants and 18 privates, all from Goias. Also investigated were a federal police secretary, a highway patrol officer, and others.
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