Brazilian authorities have arrested 63 police officers accused of taking weekly bribes from drug gangs to not report any illegal activities committed by drug dealers in Rio de Janeiro.
The policemen were taken into custody along with eleven drug dealers on Tuesday after a year-long bribery probe called “Operation Purification.”
The operation is aimed at reducing crime in Rio ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
“We can no longer accept the humiliation of deviant conduct practiced by a few,” said Rio Military Police Commander Erir Ribeiro Costa Filho.
The arrested officers are accused of receiving weekly payments of 1,500 to 2,500 Reals (700 to 1,200 dollars) from drug gangs to ignore criminal activities in 13 slums of Duque de Caxias on the outskirts of Rio.
The detainees were also allegedly involved in other illegal acts, including kidnapping dealers and their relatives for ransom, selling weapons to gang members and conducting security operations against drug traffickers who failed to pay the bribes.
Filho insured all the involved officers would be expelled from the police force and the police commander in Duque de Caxias, Claudio de Lucas Lima was fired. However, there is no suggestion he was involved in the wrongful activities.
Rio’s authorities have launched the cleanup not only for the large sporting events coming to the country these next years, but also to get poor communities in the city to regain trust in the police forces, which are regarded as violent and corrupt.
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