Rio: Traffickers Steal Cars for Ransom to Offset Slump in Drug Sales

Dealers are stealing app drivers' cars and then demanding ransoms.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - In Rio de Janeiro, drug traffickers from Baixada Fluminense, the teeming suburban area outside the city of Rio, have found a way to 'offset' the slump in drug sales caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. They are now stealing cars and demanding ransoms to return them.

The crimes have been detected by Belford Roxo's 39th State Police Battalion (BPM) in eight favelas controlled by two different factions, where criminals are demanding between R$1,500 and R$2,000 in ransom for affordable cars and R$5,000 for an imported vehicle.

In practice . . .

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