SAO PAULO, March 22 — Brazil’s federal police today launched an operation to dismantle a criminal gang that plotted to carry out deadly attacks against police officials and public servants, the Minister of Justice Flavio Dino and other authorities said.

The attacks would have involved murder and extortion through kidnapping, they said.

“A murder plot against several public officials (among them a senator and a prosecutor) was investigated and identified. Today the Federal Police is making arrests and searches against this gang,” Dino said on Twitter.

Sergio Moro, a former judge and current senator, also took to Twitter to confirm he and his family were targets in the gangs’ plot. Moro said he will make a statement in the Senate this afternoon on the issue.


A government minister told Reuters that the plan was organized by the First Capital Command (PCC) gang and was not politically motivated.

The PCC has grown rapidly in recent years, and investigators say it has come to control cocaine and gun shipments in Brazil, while also developing increasingly sophisticated methods to launder money.

The federal police said 24 search and seizure warrants, seven preventive arrest warrants and four temporary arrest warrants are being served. The operations involve 120 police officers and are taking place in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Parana, Rondonia and Sao Paulo. — Reuters