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Rio police chief quits amid corruption scandal

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 16 Feb 2011 10:58 GMT
Author: Reuters
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 15 (Reuters) - The head of Rio de Janeiro's state's civil police quit on Tuesday, becoming the latest victim of a drugs and corruption scandal that has convulsed the police in Brazil's second city.

   Allan Turnowski said he was stepping down after a "frank and open" discussion with state security secretary Jose Beltrame in the morning.

   His resignation follows the arrest since Friday of at least 30 police officers suspected of keeping links with gangs, including drug traffickers and militia groups in the city that will host the World Cup and Olympic Games in the coming years.

   One of those arrested in Friday's operation was Turnowski's former second-in-command, Carlos Oliveira, who is accused of taking bribes from drug gangs in exchange for information.

   The scandal took a new twist at the weekend when Turnowski ordered a raid on the Rio offices of the state's anti-organized crime police, which took part in Friday's operation. He said he was acting on information that its chief, Claudio Ferraz, was involved in fraud.

   Rio police have long been accused of corruption and of covering up violent tactics in the city's hundreds of slum areas that are often controlled by drug traffickers.

   Hundreds of officers took part in last week's operation, code-named "Guillotine," seeking the arrest of 45 people, including 32 police officers.

   The investigation began in 2009 when a planned police operation in a slum had to be aborted after details of the raid were leaked to drug traffickers, officials said. (Reporting by Stuart Grudgings; editing by John Whitesides)

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