Police Swoop Across Brazil to Crack ‘Kidnap Plot’

Image source, Reuters Senator Sergio Moro, a former top judge, said he was targeted by Brazil's most powerful criminal gang
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Federal police in Brazil have arrested nine suspected members of a criminal group after raids across the country to foil an alleged murder and kidnapping plot.

Several politicians and public figures were among the targets of the plans, police said.

Senator Sergio Moro, a former judge who led Brazil’s largest-ever corruption case, was also believed to be targeted.

Police sources said the gang had links with Brazil’s largest criminal group.

Some 24 raids were carried out by police on Wednesday in the capital, Brasilia, as well as in the states of Sao Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rondonia and Parana.

The group was plotting to commit “homicides and kidnapping for ransom” in at least five of Brazil’s 26 states, with the targets being “public servants and officials”, federal police said.

“A murder plot against several public officials was investigated and identified. Today the Federal Police is making arrests and searches against this gang,” Justice Minister Flavio Dino said on Twitter.

Mr Dino did not name the individuals sought out in the gang’s plot but Senator Moro said on social media that he and his family had been targeted.

He accused Brazil’s most powerful criminal group, First Capital Command (PCC), of conspiring to retaliate against him and other public agents.

A government minister told Reuters news agency that the plan had been organised by the gang and was not politically motivated.

During his time as justice minister between 2019 and 2020, Mr Moro oversaw the transfer of senior gang members, including the leader of the PCC, to a maximum-security prison.

The group, a major exporter of cocaine, has been linked to the murder of a high-profile Paraguayan prosecutor last year.

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