How one of the biggest cocaine kingpins was captured after 30 years

One of the biggest cocaine kingpins who evaded police for
30 years and even underwent surgery to change his face, has been
captured, police said on Saturday. 
Luiz Carlos da Rocha, nicknamed White Head, was arrested in
the western state of Mato Grosso in a city called Sorriso, the Brazilian
police said in a statement.

Da Rocha was regarded as one of South America’s biggest cocaine kingpins.

He had changed his name to Vitor Luiz de Moraes and
undergone plastic surgery to successfully dodge police while continuing
to run his international drugs business. 

His alleged right-hand man was also captured in a separate
location during the operation in which police said 150 agents carried
out 24 raids, seizing an estimated $10m worth of luxury cars, aircraft,
farms and other property.
The name of the operation was “Spectrum,” referring in
Portuguese to the phantom-like nature of a fugitive “who lived
discreetly and in the shadows… evading police attempts for almost 30
years,” the police statement said.
Police said that in addition to using extreme violence and
being protected by forces with heavy calibre weapons, da Rocha changed
his face.
When narcotics police homed in on their suspect in Mato
Grosso, agents studied “photographic data with the old facial
characteristics of Luiz Carlos da Rocha and the current identity
photograph of Vitor Luiz de Moraes, and concluded that Luiz Carlos da
Rocha and Vitor Luiz are the same person.”
The captured fugitive is accused of having headed an
enormous cocaine network, which included production in the jungles of
Bolivia, Colombia and Peru, and continued through to distribution on the
continent and as far away as the United States and Europe.
He is also accused of being one of the main suppliers to the
violent drug traffickers that hold sway in large areas of Sao Paulo and
Rio de Janeiro.
He is believed to have amassed $100m in personal wealth, police said.
Source:  (AFP)

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