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Contract Killings


Monday, 15 October 2007

Brazilian police claim to have broken up a huge crime ring responsible for carrying out thousands of contract killings over the past half decade


More than 20 suspects - from businessmen, through police officers to hired assassins - have been arrested in the north-east of the country this week.

The state of Pernambuco, where the majority of the arrests are believed to have taken place, has the highest murder rate in Brazil and was the home of the gang, branded Murder Incorporated.

The local police chief Jorge Pontes claims the crime ring operated like a professional business, prepared to take on absolutely any job and charging between $500 and $2,500 per hit.

"This group practices what we in the police call 'general hospital'," he explained to the BBC.

"We were suddenly faced with this homicide company. Many times the victims were killed because of loan sharks, they owed money."

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