Federal police in Brazil said Tuesday they were cracking down on an international network of drug traffickers with a mega-operation targeting cocaine smuggling between South America and Europe.
Police said they were arresting 50 people and seizing seven planes, five helicopters, 42 trucks and 35 properties linked to suspects accused of trafficking tons of cocaine to Europe and within Brazil.
The raids were carried out across 13 Brazilian states following an investigation launched in 2018 together with Britain's National Crime Agency, police said in a statement.
The authorities have also frozen 100 million reals ($18.3 million) in assets as part of the operation, it said.
Police said the raids targeted four connected organizations that were responsible for smuggling cocaine into Brazil across the Paraguayan border; selling it within Brazil, in Europe and in Cape Verde; providing logistics and transportation; and laundering the proceeds.
More than 600 police took part in the raids.
Authorities had already arrested 12 people and seized more than 11 tons of cocaine in the course of the investigation, police said.
The network continued trafficking drugs even during lockdown measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Police said they had seized 1.5 tons of cocaine from March 20 to July 20.