The drug smuggling ring within Brazil’s Air Force

In 2019, an Air Force officer was arrested with 39 kilos of cocaine. The incident may be the tip of a drug-smuggling iceberg

The drug smuggling ring within Brazil's Air Force
Photo: A Soreas/FAB/ASCOM

During the Vietnam War, American drug kingpins managed to move narcotics from Asia to New York with the help of U.S. military servicemen — using military planes. The plan, portrayed in the 2007 crime drama ‘American Gangster,’ was considered to be the largest heroin smuggling operation in U.S. history. Half a century on, the latest sting by Brazil’s Federal Police may have unveiled a similar, albeit smaller, drug-smuggling scheme.

The case began on June 26, 2019, a day that lives in infamy in the history of the Brazilian Air Force. In Seville Airport, 38-year-old Air Force Sergeant Manoel Silva...

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