Police Raid Center that Trained Drug Trafficking 'Mules' to Swallow Drug Capsules in São Paulo

People from other states were lured by false job promises; recruits ingested carrot pieces to simulate cocaine portions

São Paulo

The Military Police (PM) raided a training center for drug trafficking "mules" in the early hours of Thursday (23) in a house in the western zone of São Paulo. At the location, the police found 34 individuals suspected of being involved in international drug trafficking to Europe. A 24-year-old man, suspected of recruiting people for transporting cocaine portions in their stomachs, was arrested on the spot. The drugs were intended to be taken to countries such as France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Ireland.

Passports, drugs, cell phones, and drug trafficking notes - Divulgação/SSP

The PM arrived at the site on Santa Bibiana Street in Vila Sônia after receiving an anonymous tip. According to initial information, the group of 33 individuals was lured by false job promises. Upon arriving in São Paulo, these people had their documents confiscated, were recruited, and kept in the property, which functioned as a training center.

"Some arrived from the Northeast a few days ago and were preparing, training; it was even noted that they were forced to train with portions of carrots to be able to ingest as much drugs as possible and then make the trip to Europe," said Guilherme Mateus Pavani, a PM lieutenant, in an interview with TV Globo.

"They reported that they would ingest approximately 150 portions [of cocaine], travel to Europe, and receive between R$ 15,000 and R$ 20,000 per trip. They ingested cocaine base here in Brazil, and in Europe, this drug would be increased, and the value would multiply by 10, by 20, upon reaching the final destination," explained the lieutenant.

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