RIO DE JANEIRO, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian authorities have smashed a sophisticated international drug ring that used cryptocurrency in its transactions to throw police off its trail.
At a press conference on Monday, Carlos Eduardo Thome, chief of the federal police's drug repression task force, said the drugs arrived in Brazil from Colombia, Peru and Bolivia, and were then sent to Europe in maritime containers.
The gang also sent cocaine through phony export businesses that supposedly exported construction materials.
It used bitcoin for transactions. "It's a way to evade financial movement controls," Thome said.
A total of 100 police officers in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Espirito Santo took part in the operation named "Antigoon".
The investigation began a year ago and since then, police have seized four tons of cocaine at several ports.
With the help of international police, arrests have also made in Belgium, Italy and Spain.
Those arrested face up to 25 years in prison for international drug trafficking.