Internal affairs agents of DETRAN-RJ, the state traffic agency of Rio de Janeiro, with support from the Public Ministry and Draco — the organized crime bureau of the state judicial police — and several state judicial police precincts, had arrested 88 persons by noon today as part of an operation against fraudulent documentation and inspections.
According to DETRAN, the criminal organization was bringing in nearly R$ 2 million per month. “We identfied 700 cars and believe the monthly take was R$ 2 million. The bribe paid by car owners varied between R$ 50 and R$ 1,000, said Anthony Alves, head of internal affairs at Detran.
The mega-operation will serve 122 arrest warrants and 35 search and seizure warrants in 16 municipalities in the greater Rio metro area, the Baixada Fluminense, and the interior of the state. Detran says this is the largest corruption scheme in the history of the agency.
In all, prosecutors from Santa Cruz, Barra da Tijuca and Campo Grande have accused 181 persons of racketeering, bribe-taking and -paying, falsifying records and public documents, the uploading of false information and suppression of a public document. Of these, the courts ordered the arrest of 121 persons. Among those sought were employees of eight different vehicle inspection sites — “worker bees” and dispatchers … and at least one official in charge.
Investigations into the conspiracy began in March of this year and it was learned that the scheme consists in approving inadequate vehicles with the payment of a bribe. In some cases, the vehicles were not even brought to the inspection site, and all of the documentation was provided in exchange for a bribe.
The amount paid to Detran inspectors varied between R$ 50 and R$ 1,000 per transaction, depending on the client, the fraudulent actors involved, the difficulty of the process and the number of services involved. The group worked the posts in Santa Cruz, Campo Grande and Barra da Tijuca, in the Western Zone of Rio; in Irajá and Vila Isabel, in the Northern Zone; Belford Roxo and Nova Iguaçu, in the Baixada Fluminense; São Gonçalo, in the greater metro area, and finally at Detran headquarters.
Court-authorized wiretaps caught countless telephone calls between various suspects, dealing with the scheme and its management. Another 59 persons could be arrested if they are unable to pay the bail set by the court.
Of the accused, 136 were Detran employees, and as of noon today, 88 had been arrested na ação conjunta entre a corregedoria do Detran, policiais da delegacia de repressao ao crime organizado (Draco) e Ministério Público. Entre os presos estão 3 policiais miliares que atuavam como peritos licenciadores no esquema.
Segundo o corregedor do órgão, muitos funcionários presos não tinham praticado outros crimes anteriormente. “A maioria dos funcionários não conheciam a seara criminal, eram réus primários e agora podem pegar até 20 anos de prisão”, comentou.
A polícia identificou um homem como Marquinhos Santa Cruz, da Zona Oeste do Rio, que seria um dos líderes da quadrilha no Detran e que também estaria articulado com milicianos da Zona Oeste
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