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Brazilian Bicheiro Named in Inaugural Swiss Leaks Piece

The captain grips and grins the Mayor of Rio, Cesar Maia, in a roda de samba 


Source: O Globo.

O  Globo and the news portal  UOL — with its filial ties to the Folha de S. Paulo — have been anointed sole keepers of the flame in the Swiss Leaks case as it pertains to Brazil.

The first, brief installment published today focuses on two dramatic and notorious figures: the numbers racketeer — bicheiro — “Capital Guimarães” — a fixture on the Rio Carnaval circuit in the role of Maecenas — and the henchman of a top Colombian drug smuggler found living in Alphaville, extorted constantly by the narco cops of DENARC.

The story on Guimarães is a fascinating one, on which I have taken some notes in the past. Consider

At the top of this page, at the far left, the Captain, with other bicho bankers and Rio mayor Cesar Maia.

Data from secret accounts at Swiss HSBC to which Globo and UOL have access reveal that the numbers racketeer Capitão Guimarães, reputed leader of the “nickel-hunter” mafia and international smuggler was among the bank’s clients.

The presence of organized crime assets reiterates a pattern discovered in the investigation of international account holders of HSBC, known as SwissLeaks. Carried out by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the probe has already identified number accounts of diamon and weapons dealers and operators with ties to dictators.

Among those cited was Frantz Merceron, accused money laundherer to former Haitian president Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvlaier, who is accused of stealing US$ 9 billion and then fleeing the country.

Sentenced to 47 years in prison for bribing judges to release his gambling machine (“nickel-hunter”) equipment, Guimarães remains at large.

Bautista is incarcerated in Uruguay since 2007.  In that year, he was apprehended in flagrante while deboarding a helicopter transporting more than half a ton of cocaine. At the time, he had R$ 3 million on deposit in Switzerland. Both, through their lawyers, deny knowledge of any HSBC accounts.

The Brazilian minister of justice, José Eduardo Cardozo, expects to receive a list of account holders from France in “a matter of day.” The list will form the basis of a federal policy and tax authority investigation. The lower house of the legislature will hold hearings on the matter.