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On Tuesday (10/10), the Federal Police seized 47 rifles in a mansion in Barra da Tijuca, West Zone of Rio. This is one of the largest seizures of rifles in the city. Thirty-seven of the weapons were disassembled and stored in suitcases. The rest were in a car. In addition to the rifles, the police found hundreds of rifle ammunition. Still inside the house, the police found machinery and an entire structure for assembling and maintaining firearms. Three people were arrested, and three luxury cars were seized. Police say the arsenal belongs to arms dealers, who would sell to drug traffickers and militiamen.

Rifles Would Go to Rocinha

The 47 rifles seized by the Federal Police’s Narcotics Repression Department (DRE) in a mansion in Barra da Tijuca would, according to investigations, go to Favela da Rocinha, in the South Zone of the city. Some of the drug spots in Rocinha are currently dominated by the criminal known as Johny Bravo. According to police investigations, Johnny Bravo has received constant visits in the community from the criminal known as Abelha, a member of the Red Command leadership and one of the targets of the Rio de Janeiro security forces operation on Monday (09/10).

Operation War Dogs

On Wednesday, the Federal Police (PF) began Operation War Dogs, against arms trafficking. The action is an offshoot of the seizure of 47 rifles in a luxury mansion in Barra da Tijuca. Agents went out to carry out 10 search and seizure warrants in Paraná and Minas Gerais, to the detriment of one of the largest weapons manufacturers in the country, according to the PF. He would be Silas Diniz Carvalho, from Contagem (MG). Silas is the owner of Manchester Indústria e Comércio de Móveis Ltda, a metal frame factory based in Belo Horizonte (MG). At the scene, according to the police, the rifles were assembled. He also has an address in Miami, United States. At his residence, police seized rifle parts, magazines, and ammunition, as well as a luxury vehicle, a Lamborghini, valued at more than R$1 million.

Record Number of Seizures in Rio

Rio de Janeiro broke a record for the seizure of rifles this year. This week alone, there were 60 seizures, 47 of them in the mansion in Barra da Tijuca. From January to October, 499 rifles were seized by police – this represents more than half of all records made in the country. This year’s numbers are already higher than the total number of seizures in 2022 (478). Rio de Janeiro does not manufacture weapons. The rifles are brought clandestinely from outside the state. And despite successive police operations, weapons and ammunition smuggling continues to challenge the authorities.

28,000 Rifles in the Hands of Criminals

Anthropologist Paulo Storani estimates that there are 28,000 rifles in the hands of criminals in Rio. As a reference, he uses a report from the Sub secretariat of Integration and Operational Planning, of the Civil Police, in response to the Federal Supreme Court (STF) in the ADPF of Favelas, which establishes rules for incursions into communities. The document estimates that there are 56,000 drug dealers and militiamen in the state — that is, each weapon could be handled by two criminals, taking turns.

Stealing Weapons

Another way through which criminals obtain weapons is by stealing them from the police and the Armed Forces. One recent incident showed how serious this issue can be. On 11 October, unidentified criminals stole 43 weapons from the Army War Arsenal, located in Barueri, in Greater São Paulo. At least thirteen .50 caliber machine guns, which can shoot down aircraft, and eight 7.62 caliber machine guns were stolen. The machine guns can value up to R$ 300,000 in the illegal market.


Rio de Janeiro does not manufacture weapons or drugs. Therefore, public security in the state depends on police agencies with national scope. The Federal Police (PF) operation that disrupted a rifle assembly line in Belo Horizonte this week to supply drug traffickers and militiamen in Rio is the perfect example of how such police forces should work. The advance of organized crime in Rio has transformed the city into a sought-after market for weapons suppliers. And there is no way to confront organized crime in Rio and throughout Brazil without a police that has national reach. To achieve this, there needs to be an integrated information system, accessible to police force across the country. Also, this year there was a record of rifles seizures in Rio, without a doubt, this reflects first the increase in the volume of weapons available, as a result of the intensification of this territorial dispute in Rio de Janeiro. And second, it also reflects the effort of the public security forces of the state of Rio de Janeiro in trying to control this frantic dispute for territory in the capital of Rio de Janeiro. The key to combating this is to have an effective security policy and invest in intelligence, in other words, it is not enough to seize the rifles without knowing where they came from.

Source: G1 [1] [2] [3]; O Globo.

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