Although involvement with jogo do bicho is considered a minor crime in Brazil, the bosses, known as bicheiros, are wanted in connection with offences that include money-laundering through the samba schools.
Anisio’s detention followed a previous failed attempt in which helicopter police swooped on his penthouse in Copacabana while he was out.
Police discovered a luxury apartment with a home gym, beauty salon, Japanese garden, artificial lake and a swimming pool with the image of the hummingbird, the symbol of the Beija-Flor school, painted on the bottom.
….”It has a turnover of billions, and is linked to crimes including money laundering, murder and corruption. The results are fixed,” she said.
Among other evidence uncovered by a wiretap investigation was the use of electronic machines thought to fix games by reducing the possible number of winners.
Rio crime reporter Jorge Antonio Barros says the bicheiros, who have been around for more than 100 years, are a kind of mafia and have historically sought to associate themselves with Carnival to disguise this.
Bribing the authorities – police, judges and even journalists – has been another way to conceal the truth from the public about the dark side of jogo do bicho.
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