Rio de Janeiro most wanted drug dealer arrested

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (BDCi) – The largest slum in Brazil has been freed from Rio de Janeiro’s most wanted drug gang leader, Antonio Bonfim Lopes.
In an operation conducted by PMERJ – Militar Police of Rio de Janeiro State, the capture is a blow to the gang that controls one of Latin America’s biggest slums and the main drug distribution point in Rio, the Rocinha Slum ( Favela da Rocina).
Police say Lopes, also known as “Nem”, is wanted on charges of drug trafficking, murder, kidnapping and money laundering.
The drug lord of the teeming Rocinha slum, was found in bizarre circumstances, in the boot of a car belonging to a man who claimed to be a senior diplomat from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The car was stopped at a police checkpoint just outside the shantytown, said Victor Poubel, a federal police inspector. He said the occupants of the car tried to bribe police twice, but eventually opened the trunk.
Lopes did not resist arrest and calmly stared at TV cameras when taken into a police station.
The operation, according to the local police comes as part of a campaign to make the city safer by the time it hosts the 2014 World Cup final matches and the 2016 Olympics.
Police are pressing ahead with plans to take back the shantytown, and hope for help from the residents, said Alberto Pinheiro Neto, head of operations for Rio state police, at a press conference Thursday.

By: Janete Weinstein
Source: Huffington Post, Guardian UK
Image: Guardian UK
10 November 2011
2:03 p.m. PST

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