RIO DE JANEIRO – Nearly 200 police officers and suspected drug traffickers were arrested on Thursday in the largest-ever operation against police corruption in Brazil’s second city.
Roughly half of those arrested are cops currently or formerly assigned to the São Gonçalo district of the Rio Metropolitan region, news Web site G1 said.
The officers – all members of the militarized Rio de Janeiro state police – are accused of accepting around 1 million reais ($300,000) monthly from gangs that operate in the area, G1 said.
Investigators found the crooked cops provided services to traffickers that ranged from “facilitating” transactions to escorting drug shipments and procuring weapons.
Individual officers collected anywhere from 1,500-2,500 reais ($500-$800) a week, according to the report.
The scheme was uncovered by homicide detectives in the Niteroi-São Gonçalo precinct based on information provided by a suspect in the wake of the death of an officer who wanted out of the arrangement with the gangs.
Some 900 members of the investigative police carried out Thursday’s arrests.