By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Federal Police intercepted four vehicles which were reportedly being used by police officers to escort drug dealers out Rocinha ahead of its pacification which is widely believed will take place this Sunday.
Ten men were arrested on the road between Gavea and Jardim Botânico in Rio’s South Zone; amongst them three civil police officers and two ex-military police officers, as well as five drug dealers.
Federal Police also apprehended an assortment of guns, grenades and illegal drugs which were found in the vehicles.
A report by O Globo indicates the accused drug traffickers had negotiated a payment of approximately R$2 million for the escort made by state agents, which was intercepted with the use of wiretaps.
Police also received a tip-off that Rocinha’s chief drug lord, Antônio Bonfim Lopes, known as Nem, would be attempting to escape from the slum under an illegal police escort either yesterday or today.
Road blocks have been installed since Tuesday evening to stop and search any vehicles matching their description.
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