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Police arrest most wanted drug kingpin in Rio de Janeiro

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-12-07 11:12
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Rogerio Avelino da Silva, also known as Rogerio 157, who is accused by authorities to be the drug dealing chief of Rocinha slum, is escorted by policemen at a police station complex in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil December 6, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazilian police arrested on Wednesday in a massive operation drug kingpin Rogerio Avelino da Silva, known as "Rogerio 157", the most wanted criminal in Rio de Janeiro.

Rogerio 157 was arrested in the favela of Arara in northern Rio, the local secretariat of security reported on Twitter.

The operation saw over 3,000 elements from the army and police across six different favelas, Mangueira, Tuiti, Arara, Mandela 1, Mandela 2 y Barrera do Vasco.

Rogerio 157 was the leader of a gang in Rocinha, Brazil's largest favela where a bloody gang war erupted in September with a rival unit.

At the moment of his arrest, he had tried to flee but was found hiding under bed sheets outside a house, after his bodyguards appeared to have fled.

Police had put up a reward of 50,000 reais (around $15,000) for those leading to the arrest of Rogerio 157.

Police said that since the beginning of 2017, 434 telephone tips had been received about the drug boss, who is facing charges of drug trafficking, extortion and murder.

In recent months, Rogerio 157 had often moved from favela to favela controlled by his gang, never staying long in the same place in order to throw off the pursuit by police.

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