Two Nigerians have been arrested in Mozambique alongside one of Brazil’s most wanted criminals and drug lords accused of running international cocaine operations.
According to Mozambican authorities, the two Nigerians, whose names weren’t disclosed, were nabbed with Gilberto “Fuminho” Aparecido dos Santos at the Montebelo Indy, a luxury hotel in Maputo.
One of the Nigerians held a visitor’s visa for Mozambique while the other had a temporary residence visa.
Dos Santos, leader of the First Capital Command, was arrested during an international sting that included agents from Brazil, Mozambique and the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
He had arrived in the southern African country mid-March, Mozambique police spokesman Leonardo Simbine, told reporters while confirming his arrest on Tuesday.
He is accused of shipping tonnes of cocaine around the world, the Brazilian federal police said in a statement.
“The accused was considered the largest cocaine supplier” for the PCC, and had been on the run for more than 20 years, it said.
Brazil issued an international arrest warrant two years ago. Police said there was no evidence that dos Santos had previously been to Mozambique.
Simbine said, however, “he does not operate alone, he is part of a gang. We are still investigating whether there are other gang members in Mozambique.”
Born in the prisons of Sao Paulo in the 1990s, the PCC is considered Brazil’s top criminal gang, wielding control over cocaine supply routes from Colombia, Peru and Bolivia.
Its leader, Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, is serving a sentence of more than 200 years in a maximum-security prison in the capital Brasilia.
Dos Santos is accused, among other things, of financing a plot to help Camacho escape, police said.
Mozambican police said it was still too early to speak of dos Santos possibly being extradited to Brazil to be tried.
Police recovered a fake Brazilian passport, 100 grammes (3.5 ounces) of cannabis, 15 mobile phones and a car, as well as cash equivalent to around $800 (700 euros) in Mozambican and South African currency.