October 10, 2017 / 12:30 PM / a year ago

Brazil police arrest 60 people in cocaine trafficking probe

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian police said on Tuesday that they served 60 arrest and 104 search-and-seizure warrants as part of probes into cocaine trafficking out of ports in the southern state of Santa Catarina.

According to a police statement, criminal organizations were sending packages of cocaine in containers to be shipped to Europe.

Some of the drugs were acquired at Brazilian borders and moved into Santa Catarina in small planes, police said. They were then transported in large bags to the Itapoá port.

Other criminal organizations would use containers holding products such as steel coils and canned pineapples to move cocaine out of the Itajaí-Navegantes port complex, according to the statement.

As part of the probes, police seized around eight tonnes of cocaine in Brazil, Belgium, France and Spain. They also found links between the scheme and drug seizures in Italy, Denmark, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Turkey totalling two-and-a-half tonnes.

Brazilian police on Tuesday also brought in 12 people for questioning as part of the probes.

Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Additional reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu in Brasília; Editing by W Simon

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