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The Bicho and The Bingo | Hurricane Update

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O Dia Online:

Rio de Janeiro, 18 February 2013 —  José Januário de Freitas 10 other state judicial police have been dismissed by Rio de Janeiro state public safety secretary because of their involvement with numbers and gambling machines racketeering.

The adminstrative ruling comes six years after the initial indictments in the case. See also

Dutifully noted.

The police agents were indicted during federal police Operation Hurricane in 2007, during which bundles of cash and a list of bribe recipients were discovered behind a false wall in one of the fortresses maintaned by bicho bankers Aniz Abrahão David, Aílton — a.k.a. “Captain” — Guimarães Jorge,  and Antonio Petrus Kalil, — a.k.a. “The Big Turk.”

Dismissed along with Freitas was Inspector Marcos Antonio dos Santos Bretas, accused by the federal police of running the bribe distribution scheme.

Also indicted and dismissed:

  1. Rogério Delgado Carneiro
  2. Cláudio Augusto Reis de Almeida,
  3. Miguel Laino,
  4. Luiz Henrique Rosetti Loureiro,
  5. Armando Jorge Varella de Almeida,
  6. Juarez Giffoni Higino
  7. Alexandre Candido Pereira de Almeida.

Now retired, police inspectors  Paulo Roberto de Carvalho Moreira da Silva and Maurício Alves de Araújo will lose their retirement benefits..

Máfia supposedly relies on “judicial wing”

The “nickel-hunter mafia” is allegedly supported by co-conspirators in the judiciary. With the assistance of judges, operators were able to keep their gambling parlors up and running even after having been shut down by police.

In more than 40 court-authorized wiretaps since 2006, the federal police caught attorney Virgílio Medina demanding R$ 600,000 from racketeers in exchange for intervening in a simple injunction. Investigations show the bribe paid on this occasion was R$1 million.

Feds also investigated

Former state judicial policeman Marcos Bretas allegedly distributed the bribe money on the orders of Júlio César Guimarães Sobreira and José Renato Granado Ferreira, secretary-general and ex-president, respectively, of the Rio-based Association of Bingo Managers (AAB) at the time.

Among the bribe-takers was retired federal police agent Luiz Paulo Dias de Mattos, also arrested during Hurricane. He allegedly received secret information from active-duty agent Carlos Pereira da Silva about upcoming operations against the bingo rackets.

In February 2007, Dias de Mattos tried to expedite payment of his bribe. Fellow federal police delegada Susie de Mattos, has also been convicted of participation in the scheme.

23 persons were indicted in March 2012. Appeals continue.

In the courts, the case raised a legal issue involving the ample right to mount a defense.  Defense attorneys received only partial transcripts of the wiretaps used to obtain indictments, and argue that the police should provide full transcripts rather than mere access to the raw audio take.

The first stage of Operation Hurricane, unleashed on 13 April 2007, arrested  25 persons, including judges, bicho bankers, policemen, business owners, attorneys, and Carnaval organizers.

The second phase of Hurricane was launched on 19 June 2013. This time, the focus was on police accused of taking bribes to facilitate the business of the bicho bankers and “nickel hunter” racketeers.

The PF rolled out Hurrican Part III on 3 July, targeting police accused of taking bribes from the gambling rackets.