By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The police arrested four people involved in the illegal importing of military weapons yesterday (Thursday, June 1st) at the the international airport in Rio de Janeiro. Authorities say the sixty rifles came from Miami (U.S.) in containers with swimming pool heaters, and are estimated at more than R$4 million.
There were 45 AK47s, 14 AR10 rifles and a G3 rifle seized. Two of the prisoners are residents of Niterói, one from the Baixada Fluminense and one from Jacarepaguá, west of the capital of Rio de Janeiro.
The investigations began about two years ago following the death of a military police officer in São Gonçalo, in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. The police discovered that the weapon used in the murder of the police officer had also been used In a burglary of charges.
At a press conference yesterday, Rio’s security secretary, Roberto Sá, said preliminary information from the Public Security Institute (ISP) indicates that the seizure was the largest in ten years.
“How many deaths will we be avoiding with this apprehension? […] In the last 150 days, 250 rifles were seized in Rio de Janeiro. Is it trivial? The police seize one rifle per hour,” Sá added. “We need a national pact to combat the use of firearms. We alone can not do everything.”
The head of the civil police, Carlos Leba, congratulated the work of the police in the operation. “Our work was quiet, and it could not be otherwise to come up with a result as important as this. We have a pact with society to help strengthen security in Rio state,” he said.