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Brazil police smash major drug cartel

Brazilian police said they had dismantled a massive drug cartel with operations in 30 countries and sales of at least US$2.3 million a week.

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian police said on Friday they had dismantled a massive drug cartel with operations in 30 countries and sales of at least US$2.3 million a week.

Federal police in the central state of Goias said they had issued 85 arrest warrants, seized 46 buildings worth an estimated 80 million reais (US$36 million) and frozen several suspects' bank accounts after a 2.5-year investigation.

"It's a cartel that's been in operation for more than 30 years, with its leader based here in Goias. That leader linked up with other kingpins across Brazil to traffic drugs internationally," Bruno Gama, who led the investigation, told news website G1.

The cartel had been working on building a submarine and creating an airline to transport the narcotics, according to police.

Police did not say how many arrests had been made, but the group's suspected leader was still at large.

The cartel shipped drugs across the Americas and to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

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