Federal Police operation arrests people in Paulínia and six other cities in Brazil


Source: Paulínia News, 02/11/2007

The former mayor of Potim, João Benedito Angelieri, was arrested this Wednesday in a Federal Police operation against illegal fuel trade. In addition to him, the three children, the sister of the former mayor and four employees of the company Cana Brava, which belonged to the former mayor, were also arrested. The workers were transporting the fuel when they were detained. According to the PF, the gang sold fuel alcohol without paying taxes in the Vale do Paraíba region and in Rio de Janeiro. In all, seven trucks were seized.

The gang had operated in at least 11 cities for five years. According to PF delegate Ronaldo Guilherme Campos, the scheme worked as follows: fuel transport companies used the same invoice several times to take anhydrous alcohol from producing companies directly to gas stations. Some of these companies did not even have authorization from the National Petroleum Agency (ANP) to carry out this type of transport.

– The notes came and went. On the second trip they were already cold notes - said the delegate.

The PF believes that anhydrous alcohol could be used to baptize gasoline and also, after being added to water, be sold as baptized alcohol.

The PF operation was named Alquila. Arrests were made in the cities of Potim, Brotas, Presidente Prudente, Sorocaba, Indaiatuba, Paulínia and Rio de Janeiro. The former mayor's company, Cana Brava, had already been investigated in 2001 on suspicion of fuel adulteration.

Cana Brava released a note stating that the company is not aware of the reason for the PF's operation and that it is already taking the "necessary steps".

After seizing documents in 21 different locations, the PF discovered that the gang, in addition to using the same invoice several times, also issued counterfeit invoices. The fuel payment was made by the owners of gas stations directly into the accounts of mill owners, without any type of tax being paid.

Two temporary arrest warrants could not be served. The Federal Public Ministry is monitoring the operation and is investigating the participation of public agents in the gang. The PF does not know how many stations the illegal fuel was sold at. He only stated that the majority were under the white flag.