Brazilian police busts vast aerial drug trafficking network

February 21, 2019 | Brainwave Science


Brazilian federal police said on Thursday that they were serving arrest warrants for 54 people over their alleged role in a vast drug trafficking network which specialized in airborne shipments to Brazil, the United States, and Europe.

Police said they had court orders to seize 47 planes and 13 properties containing more than 10,000 heads of cattle as part of the bust.


Brazilian authorities have been intercepting aircrafts carrying drugs for some time now.

Even on land, traffickers are using cattle as drug mules. The bovine drug mules can carry as much as 132 pounds of cocaine and have increasingly become a favorite way of sneaking the illegal drug into countries including Guatemala and Mexico, where it ultimately makes its way into the U.S.

In 2017, a twin-engine aircraft carrying 500 kilos of cocaine was intercepted by a Brazilian Air Force (FAB) A-29, as part of Operation Ostium, a joint crackdown on a cross-border crime carried out by the FAB, Federal Police, and public security agencies. According to a statement from Brazil’s Air Force, the plane took off from Itamarati Norte ranch in Campo Novo do Parecis, Mato Grosso, bound for Santo Antonio Leverger, Mato Grosso.

The objective of Operation Ostium is to reduce the number of illicit goods coming in by air along Brazil’s large swath of the border to zero.

FAB maintains a year-round, 24-hour air defense alert service. The intention is to expand its capacity for detecting unidentified air traffic and increase rapid response for aircraft interception. The FAB installed mobile radars in addition to employing E-99 radar aircraft in order to detect unauthorized low-altitude flights. the FAB is also making use of remotely piloted aircraft, with the intent of identifying clandestine runways and trafficking routes.

Operation Ostium since March 2017, has reduced suspicious air traffic on Brazil’s borders with Bolivia and Paraguay by 80 percent. According to the Air Force Social Communications Center, 150 suspect aircraft have been intercepted since the operation began on March 2017.

The FAB has a protocol which defines when and how a suspected aircraft can be declared hostile. Later, it also has procedures in place to intercept and persuade the aircraft to land. They can even interrogate the crew over the international emergency channel.

Once such a hostile aircraft lands and the crew is detained, the investigation authorities get to work. There is a plethora of information which the crew are aware. The experienced pilots know where they have originated from, which route they will take, and where they are destined to. This is of extreme importance to the investigative authorities for future use and to help link them to a criminal organization, gather intelligence about discovering new trafficking routes and passing on the information to the FAB so they can patrol the areas closely.

In order to extract such a vast amount of information, the already burdened, authorities will require a lot of time, money and manpower. In this dynamic crime, where trafficking routes routinely change in order to avoid detection, time is of the essence and there is dire need of an investigation method which can gather intelligence quickly and detect if the arrested persons have crime-related information or not. This is also essential since the FAB does not want to detain those who are innocent and for the guilty to slip through.

Modern science must help the law enforcement agencies with a quick screening tool which helps to reliably exonerate innocents and get the guilty punished.


Brainwave Science has taken the onus upon itself to develop and make such technology available to law enforcement and investigators across the world. They have introduced a cutting tool called iCognative which aims to overhaul the discipline of forensic science. It approaches intelligence gathering in a totally new way. iCognative is a revolutionary security technology that works on the premise that the best source of reliable information regarding a crime is the brain. All acts of crime, deliberations or planning are generated and recorded in the brain. This revolutionary technology is applicable in law enforcement, counter-intelligence, immigrationcounter-terrorism, border security, human and drug trafficking. Brazilian police

Like a computer, the brain is the center for all data processing and storage. All significant information is recorded and stored for long periods of time probably until death and not so significant or passive information is forgotten over time. For example,  one might forget the clothes which one wore on a day as it is a regular or mundane activity, but if one stains their dress just before one’s interview, one would most likely remember the dress for decades. Similarly, specific crime events are recorded permanently in the suspect’s brain because it is a significant process and activity. Brazilian police

iCognative is safe and non-invasive, does not violate any human rights, can be applied to 85% -90% of cases, and has a high accuracy rate of over 99.9% eliminating false positives or false negatives. While DNA and Biometrics have similar accuracy, they can only be applied in 1-2% of cases as many crimes do not have biological samples. Brazilian police

During a criminal investigation, iCognative is used to determine a suspect’s involvement in crime by measuring the tiny micro voltages emitted from the brain when specific crime-related evidence in form of pictures, images, words, texts, or phrases are flashed on a computer screen. These inputs are also called stimuli The brain reaction is captured and analyzed to determine whether the information as evidence is present in the suspect’s brain or not. However, the information provided to the subject/suspect must be crime-specific.

In the iCognative test of each of the arrested trafficking suspects and crew, the stimuli can be trafficking-related details like the popular drug trafficking routes, popular origin and destinations in Europe, Central America and the US, details of earlier arrested traffickers, known sites where these drugs are prepared like busted meth labs, details of international traffickers higher up or lower down the supply chain, etc

Using iCognative on a national and transnational scale with cooperation from neighboring nations will help the Brazilian authorities to quickly discover linkages between organizations, understand supply chains, detect traffickers and their modus operandi, and help to end the aerial drug trade in the region once and for all.

Main Source: Reuters