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How America Created A Gun-Happy Gangster’s Paradise In Brazil

How America created a gun-happy gangster’s paradise in Brazil

Thousands of made-in-America weapons are pouring into Brazil and landing straight into the hands of gangsters every day, and the U.S. is failing miserably at stemming the flood.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, Brazil is home to roughly 8 million illegal weapons, more than half of which were smuggled from the U.S. The latest U.N.-sponsored report suggests that a little under 20,000 American weapons enter Brazil each year.

Rio de Janeiro, one of the most dangerous cities on the planet

In Rio de Janeiro, local authorities believe that around 4,000 new illegal weapons arrive in the city each day. About a quarter of those are assault rifles, according to Christiano, a high-ranking Military Police commander in Rio de Janeiro who oversees operations to capture illegal guns off the streets.

“Once these weapons cross our national borders, we almost have no way to capture these guns before they end up in the wrong people’s hands,” Christiano said.

The consequences of this crisis are severe. In Rio de Janeiro, one of the most dangerous cities on the planet, murder rates have been skyrocketing, from 925 in 2016 to 1,814 in 2019, the AP reported. The majority of those murders involve the use of smuggled firearms. In fact, corruption is so rampant in the city that gangs are able to buy off workers in order to let their cargo enter Brazil easily. Once these weapons are unloaded, they are funneled through the country to other gang-controlled areas, mostly in São Paulo, Fortaleza, and the state of Amazonia, Christiano explained.

How illicit weapons trade functions

In order to understand how the illicit weapons trade functions, one has to see it as a global business with many different actors and consumers, spreading its tentacles from various points of origins, mostly within our borders to their final destination in Mexico, Paraguay, and Brazil. Arms dealers will go to great lengths to protect their macabre business, securing trade routes often stretching from one continent to the next, creating constant flows of weapons and ammunition to our Southern neighbors.

Two main trade routes exist today. Both originate from America’ southern states, which produce a staggering amount of firearms each year. Today, roughly 393 million guns are held within U.S. borders. The ATF, on the other hand, has little idea how many of these weapons leave American shores to be resold illegally to Mexico, Central America, and South America. In fact, the ATF “does not maintain a federal gun registry, therefore, records are not kept on the sales of firearms, private sales or individual purchasers,” a spokesperson told ABC News.

Criminal Brazilians with US passports

In March 2019, HSI was tipped off by their Brazilian counterparts about a weapon-smuggling ring that was exporting assault rifles and ammo to São Paulo from the United States. So alarming was the efficiency of the arrival of these weapons into the hands of various gangs like Comando Vermelho (Red Command), or Amigos dos Amigos, that the Brazilian government coordinated its efforts with the DEA. As a result, key members of a major criminal organization were arrested, all Brazilians holding U.S. passports.

The ex-ATF agent, Anarumo, explained that a strategy similar to Barbieri’s is employed by cartels and gangs from Mexico to Brazil.

It’s simple. First, the criminal organization will contact their associates already in the U.S., holding American passports. Once they receive their orders, the stringers will go to Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas, where it’s easy to buy handguns and assault rifles. Once the purchase is made at local stores, some of these weapons will be dismantled, hidden away in creative containers like refrigerator filters, and driven to Miami. Then, once these weapons are loaded in containers and onto ships, some go straight to South America, while a small minority are directed towards Haiti and the Dominican Republic to supply gangs operating on Hispaniola, which has become a major hub for illicit drugs and weapons smuggling.

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Military destroys illegal refining sites in Rivers

The air component of Nigeria’s military special taskforce, “Operation Delta Safe’’ bombarded several illegal oil refining sites and other bases of economic saboteurs in Rivers on Friday and Saturday.

Director, Public Relations and Information at the Nigerian Air Force, AVM Edward Gabkwet, stated on Sunday in Abuja that the air strikes diminished the capabilities of oil thieves significantly.

He assured that the strikes ensured that economic saboteurs would no longer be able to burst pipelines to steal crude oil.

Gabkwet stated that an illegal refining site was destroyed at Idama community and four boats which reconnaissance found to have been loaded with illegally-refined products were equally destroyed.

“Similar reconnaissance missions were conducted over Ogbomkiri community where an active illegal refining site was identified and destroyed.

“Reconnaissance over the Arugbana community showed that oil thieves were trying to set up an illegal refining site and, on sighting the approaching aircraft, they scampered to safety.

Several illegal sites were also observed at Samkiri community and were engaged and destroyed.

“In all, about seven illegal refining sites and four boats were discovered and destroyed in the two-day operation,’’ Gabkwet added.

 

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Aiyedatiwa stops pastors from wearing cassock, appoints self general overseer

Nebuchadnezzar, infamous figure immortalized in the Bible, commands recognition as the Babylonian monarch whose relentless conquests laid waste to the temple of Jerusalem, seizing its sacred relics as spoils of war.

Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a great tree that shelters the whole world. But an angelic “watcher” appears and decrees that the tree must be cut down and that for seven years, he will have his human mind taken away and will eat grass like an ox.

The holy Bible generously describes and expounds a Chapel or Temple as the hallowed sanctuary of the Almighty. It is reserved for the reverential observance of sacred rites and solemn covenants deemed too divine for mundane settings. In all Chapels or Temples all over the world, these consecrated edifices are sanctuaries apart, shielded from the profane clamor of the secular world.

But an archetype of Nebuchadnezzar may have surreptitiously crept into Ondo without anyone noticing. While asking questions on what motivated the biblical Nebuchadnezzar to desecrate the holy Chapel or Temple of God, we are compelled to confront the actions of His Excellency (Hon.) Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa vis-à-vis the recent happenings inside the Government House Chapel.

In a bold and audacious move that is only comparable to that of Nebuchadnezzar, Governor Aiyedatiwa decreed that ordained priests, including Rev. Babalola of the Anglican Communion and Canon Enoch Adeleke of the Methodist Church, discard their traditional vestments, known as Casoc, in favor of resplendent native attire—Agbada & Sokoto—during sacred ceremonies.

This sweeping directive challenges the entrenched doctrines upheld by Orthodox Churches, igniting a maelstrom of doubt and apprehension. Many ponder whether this decree signals a bid to sideline and subjugate Christians within the precincts of the Ondo State Government House, potentially paving the way for the infiltration of unfamiliar beliefs.

It is important to note that the Government House Chapel predates Governor Aiyedatiwa’s tenure. It is equally worthy of note to state that none of his predecessor, be it an Executive Governor or Military Administrator, had dared to enact such a seismic shift from the norm.

The questions presently agitating the minds of Christians within and outside Ondo state is if the Governor would have dared to wield such authority within a Mosque?

In response to this seismic upheaval, Christians across Ondo State and beyond are implored to maintain vigilance. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) must rise up against what is perceived as a grievous affront to the tenets of Christianity.

Adding to the intrigue, Aiyedatiwa proclaimed one fateful morning that he had been anointed by God to assume the mantle of General Overseer (GO) of the chapel. His subsequent participation in conducting last week’s Sunday service casts doubt upon his jurisdiction in matters of faith, casting a pall of uncertainty over Orthodox Churches.

But beyond this, the governor is said to have imported some strange-looking creatures to form part of the clergy. An inside source disclosed that the men were indeed imported from India as part of a larger team of prayer warriors ahead of the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress.

An elder in the chapel, who pleaded not to be named, said the governor has become paranoid about how church matters are run in the chapel.

“It is surprising what is driving the governor recently. He is carrying out changes that are aliens to the order of service in the chapel.

Recently, some strange people were brought into the chapel. Some people said they were part of of his prayer warriors. It was later that we gathered that they were from India. We have never seen anything like this before,” the elder said.

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Pregnant woman, widow arrested over N3.2m counterfeit cash, lethal illicit substance

… As NDLEA recovers 900,000 opioid pills, 1,347.4kg cannabis in Kano, Kogi, Imo, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti raids

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, have intercepted a commercial bus conveying N3.2million counterfeit cash owned by three suspects: eight-month pregnant Favour Peter, 24; Esther Adukwu, 27, and Ochigbo Michael, 39, who were arrested at Jabi park in Abuja in a follow up operation on Tuesday 9th April following the seizure of the fake naira notes in Lokoja, Kogi state.

This is even as NDLEA officers in collaboration with men of the Nigerian Navy Ship Lugard base, Lokoja intercepted 37-year-old Aliyu Lawal along Lokoja-Abuja road on Monday 8th April and recovered 620 blocks of cannabis weighing 310kg from him, while 10 sacks of the same psychoactive substance weighing 98kg were seized along Okene-Lokoja-Abuja express way by NDLEA operatives from Jama Obodo, 44, in a commercial bus coming from Ilesha, Osun state enroute Taraba state on Wednesday 10th April.

In Cross River state, a 40-year-old widow and mother of two, Mrs. Theodora Ita was on Monday 8th April arrested at Bassey Edom, Calabar, by NDLEA operatives for producing and selling a lethal new psychoactive substance, NPS, locally called ‘Combine’, which is a mixture of different strains of cannabis and opioids soaked in raw gin. As at the time of her arrest, 18 litres of the dangerous substance in used paint drums were recovered from her.

In her statement, she claimed she started the illicit drug production and distribution in October 2023. Another suspect, Godwin Okon Samuel, 48, was apprehended at Essit Ebum area of Calabar with 39.4kg of cannabis sativa on Tuesday 9th April.

While two suspects: Sani Mohammed, 43, and Christopher Eze, 64, were arrested in Sabon Gari area of Kano on Tuesday 9th April with 900,000 pills of opioid recovered from them, NDLEA operatives on patrol along Owerri-Onitsha road, Imo state on Friday 12th April intercepted a logistics truck with registration number JGB 403XB and recovered 230 blocks of cannabis sativa weighing 119kg hidden under household items after a thorough search.

At least 252 kilograms of cannabis were seized during a raid at Ijesa Isu forest, Ekiti state on Saturday 13th April while four suspects: Adamu Umar, 39; Abdullahi A Gimba, 27; Julius Uduakhomu, 28; and Micheal Sunday, 24, were nabbed loading 40kg of same substance to the engine compartment of a gas truck at Agho village, Owan East, Edo state.

Two motorcycles used in conveying the consignment to where the gas truck heading to the North was parked, were also recovered.

In Ogun state, a suspect, Ismaila Ogun was arrested on Friday 12th April with 79kg cannabis at Imeko, while 18-year-old Friday Abah was nabbed with 410kg of the same substance when NDLEA operatives raided Obatedo camp, Itaogbolu forest, Akure North LGA, Ondo state.

With the same zeal, the various commands of the Agency across the country
continued with the War Against Drug Abuse, WADA, advocacy campaign in the past week. Some of them include: WADA sensitisation lecture for students and staff of Gboko Polytechnic, Gboko, Benue state; officers and men of 15 Engineering Field Regiment Nigerian Army, Topo, Badagry Lagos; meat butchers at Odo Eran abattoir, Osogbo, Osun state and WADA advocacy visit to Kogi state Governor, Ahmed Usman Ododo, among others.

While commending the officers and men of the Kogi, Cross River, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Imo, Kano, and Edo Commands of the Agency for their outstanding feats in drug supply reduction, Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) equally applauded them and their counterparts in all the commands across the country for intensifying their WADA advocacy lectures, aimed at drug demand reduction.

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