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Drug cartel boss used facial plastic surgery to avoid police for 30 years before being arrested in Brazil

A drug cartel boss used plastic surgery over 30 years to avoid police before being arrested in Brazil.

Polícia Federal/Polícia Federal

Luiz Carlos da Rocha, whose nickname was the White Head, faces multiple charges related to drug trafficking operation and is in custody.

Over three decades, he went under the knife to not be recognised by authorities. Several pictures have been handed out by Brazilian police over this period to alert people what he looks like in 2017.

He also adopted the pseudonym Vitor Luiz de Moraes.

Da Rocha was arrested last week as part of Operation Spectrum, a police mission to prevent drug trafficking.

The operation has already claimed around $10 million worth of luxury vehicles, planes and property.

Police say the drug cartel boss has previously been convicted for drug and weapon-related offences, as well as money laundering.

"The cocaine was transported in small airplanes that left the producing countries of Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, using Venezuelan airspace destined for farms in Brazil, on the border between the states of Pará and Mato Grosso," a Brazilian Federal Police statement read.

"After being discharged from a drug plane, cocaine was placed in truck and carts, whose destination was the state of Sao Paulo for distribution to criminal factions in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, or Port of Santos, from where it was exported to Europe or the United States."

His network has been accused of distributing cocaine throughout South America, the US and Europe.

The gang managed production in the jungles of Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, and the drugs were then transported to warehouses in Paraguay and Brazil, from where it would be sent overseas.

Police say the violent gang has made secret five-ton deliveries of the drug into Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro every month.

Further police raids are expected in Paraguay, where Da Rocha owns several farms and carries out criminal operations.

[Source: By Rachael Revesz, The Independent, London, 03Jul17]

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