Brazilian police chief quits after 30 cops busted

Last Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 11:52

Rio De Janeiro: The head of Rio de Janeiro
state`s investigative police resigned after an anti-corruption
sting resulted in the arrest of 30 officers, including the
department`s former second-in-command.

Analysts called the arrests a significant blow to the
city`s corrupt ways.

"This can be Rio`s chance to break definitively with
these officers who commit illicit actions," said Rodrigo
Pimentel, a security consultant and former leader within an
elite group of Brazil`s military police.
"Police in Rio have been too close to crime."

The shake-up comes amid a campaign by Rio officials to
break the grip violent drug gangs have on poor slums that
cover huge swaths of the city.

Rio is host for the championship matches of the 2014
World Cup and then the 2016 Olympics and has promised to
reduce violent crime that at times spills out from shantytowns
into posh neighbourhoods.

Part of the crackdown involves rooting out corrupt
cops.

The 30 officers arrested in recent days are accused of
selling heavy weapons to gangs, tipping off gangs about police
raids, and stealing and selling drugs, money and weapons
confiscated by police.

The police chief, Allan Turnowski, announced in a
statement that he decided to step down after talking with Rio
state`s security director, Jose Beltrame.
"I feel certain this is the best decision," said
Turnowski, who was in the post for nearly two years.

There was no immediate word on who would replace him.

Turnowski`s former deputy, Carlos Antonio Luiz
Oliveira, was one of the officers arrested and charged with
corruption, theft, and collaboration with drug traffickers.

At a news conference last week, Beltrame had expressed
confidence in Turnowski, stressing that the police chief would
have been arrested if there were any proof he had committed
any wrongdoing.

But the alleged involvement of police leaders as high
up as Oliveira in corruption has caused turmoil within the
department, and both Beltrame and Turnowski concluded it would
be best if the chief resigned, a statement from Beltrame`s
office said.

Rio`s police have often been part of the problem of
widespread violence in the city, Pimentel said.

Turnowski is the fourth police chief in five years, he
noted.

Two of the chiefs were arrested, and now one has
stepped down.

Oliveira was the first deputy commander to be
arrested.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 11:52

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