Rio de Janeiro state police arrested 52 of their own members on Monday on charges they took money from drug gangs to help crime bosses avoid capture.
Police also arrested five suspected drug traffickers in ”Operation Two Faces” in Duque de Caxias, a city on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Police have warrants for seven other police.
Andre Drumond, a state police commander, said the police officers who were arrested got between $1,000 and $1,500 a week from drug gangs in three shantytowns in Duque de Caxias. In return, police would avoid doing raids in the region and would warn gangs of police plans.
As many as 15 suspected drug traffickers taken into custody on Monday were arrested and let go because of the agreement they had with the police, Drumond said.
“We are investigating other crimes committed by these police officers, like homicides, drug and arms trafficking and robbery of truck cargo,” Drumond said.
The arrests follow a similar operation in December 2006, when 74 officers were taken into custody for links with organized crime.