Audios reveal brutality of criminals from the cigarette mafia in RJ: ‘I set my body on fire, and people thought it was a balloon’ | Rio de Janeiro

Audios reveal brutality of criminals from the cigarette mafia in RJ: ‘I set my body on fire, and people thought it was a balloon’ | Rio de Janeiro
Audios reveal brutality of criminals from the cigarette mafia in RJ: ‘I set my body on fire, and people thought it was a balloon’ | Rio de Janeiro
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Audios reveal brutality of cigarette mafia criminals in RJ

Audios that appear in investigations into murders committed by illegal cigarette mafia in the state of Rio show the brutality of the gang. In recordings, criminals boast about killings and even burning the bodies of targets.

“Fuck, leave the body there (…) I broke (killed) about three of them, then it was fucked up. I fucking killed it. I set his body on fire, and people thought it was a balloon (laughs)”, says an excerpt from a recording.

At least 20 violent crimes, such as assassinations or attempts, and kidnappings are being investigated for being linked to disputes between those involved with the mafia.

Not even the car’s armor was able to prevent the execution. The investigation points to the dispute over control of the illegal sale of cigarettes as the reason for the murder.

1 of 4 Dialogue included in the investigation shows criminals talking about crimes — Photo: Reproduction/TV Globo
Dialogue included in the investigation shows criminals talking about crimes — Photo: Reproduction/TV Globo

This Monday’s RJ2 (1st) showed that dozens of homicides, disappearances and assassination attempts are attributed to the gang that controls illegal cigarettes in the state.

The group is also involved in paying bribes, money laundering, smuggling and tax evasion. The criminal organization has grown and controls at least 45 of the 92 municipalities of State.

In almost half of Rio de Janeiro, including the capital and Baixada Fluminense, the sale of Paraguayan cigarettes was banned by criminals. Only packs produced by the gang can be sold.

Business moves billions

For weeks, the RJ2 collected data from the police and Justice to outline the panorama of one of the most profitable sectors of organized crime – and which is related to misdemeanor, with militiasas drug trafficking and even with the carnival.

It is a billion business: from 2018 to 2023, according to data from the Intelligence in Research and Strategic Consulting (Ipec) only tax evasion, the counterfeit cigarette market stopped paying R$10 billion in taxes throughout Brazil in five years – more than R$2 billion only in Rio de Janeiro.

Cigarette mafia controls 45 of the 92 cities in RJ and expands based on bullets

Deaths, disappearances and kidnappings

In communities, the rule is clear: Only cigarettes from the group can enter. Anyone who disrespects it risks their lives.

2 of 4 Gift brand cigarettes are produced by criminals — Photo: Reproduction TV Globo
Gift brand cigarettes are produced by criminals — Photo: Reproduction TV Globo

The gang transformed illegality into a monopoly. A profitable and extremely violent business. Whoever crosses the path of the group’s interests suffers death threat and extortion. If you don’t agree to participate, you die.

A survey carried out by RJ2 in the homicide police stations in the capital and Baixada Fluminense, from 2022 to date, at least 20 occurrences in between deaths It is attempts of murder, disappearances It is kidnappings linked to the cigarette mafia.

Tobacco shop owner murdered

Among the cases attributed to the illegal cigarette mafia is the death of the owner of a tobacco shop in Recreio, in the West Zone. According to investigations by the Homicide Police, Cristiano de Souza was killed because he refused to sell mafia cigarettes.

The gang discovered that he bought a machine to make his own cigarettes and planned to expand the business. In June last year, Cristiano was murdered, around noon, on a quiet street in the neighborhood.

3 of 4 Cigarette mafia operates in Rio de Janeiro — Photo: Reproduction TV Globo
Cigarette mafia operates in Rio de Janeiro — Photo: Reproduction TV Globo

Anderson Reis dos Santos was another victim. The street vendor sold Paraguayan cigarettes in Nilópolis and was threatened by the gang. Anderson’s wife became kidnapped as a way of intimidating the street vendor. The crime took place in December 2022.

Anderson would not have given in to the group’s interests. The street vendor is missing, but information gathered by the police shows that he was murdered by the gang.

Cigarette mafia: Police appoint member of Jogo do Bicho as head of criminal scheme

Civil and Federal Police investigations showed that the man behind the monopoly on the sale of illegal cigarettes in Rio is Adilson Oliveira Coutinho Filho, known as Adilsinho. Last month, he was named the new patron of the Acadêmicos do Salgueiro samba school.

His name or those of people linked to him appear in the majority of homicides investigated in the capital and Baixada Fluminense as a result of the dispute over the cigarette market.

The details of how the gang he was accused of leading operates were revealed by two recent investigations – by Gaeco, an agency of the Public Ministry of Rio, and by the Federal Police.

In operations “Smoke Free”, in November 2022, and “fumus”, in the previous year, almost 70 arrest warrants were issued by the courts. Among the targets were Adilsinho and Cláudio Coutinho de Oliveira.

O Adilsinho’s lawyer stated that he reiterates that the innocence of your client.

Investigations found that the group had moved more than R$45 million with illegal businesses and caused losses of around 2 billion to public coffers through tax evasion.

4 of 4 Adilsinho and Claudio Coutinho de Oliveira were targets of operations by the Federal Police and the MP — Photo: Reproduction TV Globo
Adilsinho and Claudio Coutinho de Oliveira were targets of Federal Police and MP operations — Photo: Reproduction TV Globo

In both actions, 125 search and seizure warrants were executed in Duque de Caxias and Campos dos Goytacazes, in addition to the capital. Among the addresses visited by the police were cigarette factories owned by Adilsinho.

Both investigations are suspended by the Superior Court of Justice (STJ).

Although Adilsinho was denounced by both the Rio Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Public Ministry, his lawyers managed to annul the evidence collected from an award-winning collaboration at the STJ.

The defense argued that the operations were carried out solely based on a whistleblower’s report. The collaborator was a former member of the criminal group.

The Gift brand was already sold illegally in Rio – smuggled from Paraguay and earning millions for those responsible for the crime.

To have a monopoly on illegal sales, the cigarette mafia in Rio began to counterfeit cigarettes in factories in the state, such as the one that was the target of the operation that seized the machine stolen from the Civil Police City, a story revealed by RJ2 last month.

In these places, the workforce was initially Paraguayan – so that the cigarettes maintained the quality of those manufactured in the neighboring country.

However, over time, manufacturing began to be carried out by Brazilians. After producing the cigarettes, the mafia forces newsstand owners and traders to sell counterfeit products.

Criminals constantly monitor points of sale. In a dialogue, criminals exchange photos about a Gift brand cigarette found in stores and question whether the product is “theirs”.

The conversations were on the cell phone seized from José Ricardo Simões, one of those accused of Marquinhos Catiri’s death. He was appointed head of a militia in the West Zone and, According to the Homicide Department, the death was caused by disagreements with Adilsinho’s group.

Target of PF operation threw party at Copacabana Palace for 500 people during the pandemic

In the criminal underworld, the monopoly on the sale of illegal cigarettes passes through territories dominated by militia and drug trafficking. Illegal products are not sold in these areas, without negotiations between gangs.

“Brazilian products cannot be cheaper than R$5.” It’s the minimum price”, says Edson Vismona, president of the National Forum Against Piracy.

O RJ2 found that, in militia areas, cigarettes are supplied by the mafia, but sales are carried out by militiamen.

In trafficking regions, those who sell illegal cigarettes and want exclusivity for their product must pay a toll to the traffickers.

You 45 municipalities where the mafia operates of cigarette:

  • sand
  • Angra dos Reis
  • Araruama
  • Cable camp
  • Barra Mansa
  • Barra do Piraí
  • Campos dos Goytacazes
  • Duke of Caxias
  • Engineer Paulo de Frontin
  • Big Iguaba
  • Itaguaí
  • Itaboraí
  • Itatiaia
  • Itaperuna
  • Mangaratiba
  • Miracema
  • Miguel Pereira
  • mosque
  • Magé
  • Sissy boy
  • Mendes
  • New Iguaçu
  • Niterói
  • Porto Real
  • Piraí
  • Paracambi
  • Paty do Ensign
  • Portiuncula
  • Petrópolis
  • Pine forest
  • beautiful river
  • clear river
  • oysters River
  • Resende
  • Rio das Flores
  • Rio de Janeiro
  • São Pedro da Aldeia
  • St. Johns Wood
  • Saquarema
  • São José do Vale do Rio Preto
  • Tanguá
  • Teresópolis
  • Brooms
  • Valença
  • Volta Redonda

Adilsinho’s defense claims that he is innocent.

TV Globo is trying to contact the others mentioned in the report.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Audios reveal brutality criminals cigarette mafia set body fire people thought balloon Rio Janeiro

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