Ministry will expand inspection in Foz


Source: Folha de S. Paulo, 23/01/2005

By Dimitri do Valle, freelance for Agência Folha, in Curitiba

The Ministry of Justice announced that operations to combat smuggling and piracy in the Triple Border region between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina will be stepped up. The actions will be carried out in the Foz do Iguaçu (PR) region throughout the year. One of the main targets will be the sacoleiro buses that return from Ciudad del Este, in Paraguay, where they pick up the goods.

The executive secretary of the Ministry of Justice, Luiz Paulo Barreto, said that the repression will once again involve different organs of the Union - such as the Federal Revenue Service, the Federal Police and the Federal Highway Police - and the police in Paraná. The Brazilian government will also ask for support from the Paraguayan authorities.

Barreto said that future actions will follow the model of Operation Cataract, but with a greater number of police and inspectors. In 45 days of inspection at the Triple Border, the operation ended with the seizures of 87 buses, $ 45 million in goods, 21 kilograms of cocaine, 900 kilograms of marijuana and nearly XNUMX cartridges of various calibers.

The Ministry of Justice estimated that two-thirds of the smuggling and trade scheme for pirated products were paralyzed during the operation.

“The Cataract was just a rehearsal. From now on there will be mega operations, ”said Barreto. The secretary said that increased police repression is the only way to shake up a sector that, according to estimates by the federal government, generates losses of R $ 10 billion a year in tax evasion, unemployment and abandonment of investments by companies.

By the end of February, the National Plan to Combat Piracy must be concluded. The project is being prepared by the National Council to Combat Piracy.