Lebanese 'drug dealer' arrested in Brazil on trafficking charges in global operation

Lebanese 'drug dealer' arrested in Brazil on trafficking charges in global operation
Assad Khalil Kiwan is a naturalised Brazilian citizen from Lebanon who was arrested on Monday over drugs charges.
2 min read
25 November, 2020
He was also arrested on murder charges [Getty]

A Lebanese-Brazilian man named as Assad Khalil Kiwan has been arrested in Sao Paolo during a global operation by the Federal Police against drug trafficking and money laundering.

The police issued 66 arrest warrants and 149 search and seizure orders in cities across the world in an operation to end an alleged drug smuggling group that spans South America and has links inside the UAE.

The operation was named 'Enterprise' and law enforcement blocked some $400 million worth of assets of those under investigation, reports Brazil’s Globo News.

Kiwan is suspected to being part of a global criminal enterprise that exported illegal drugs to Europe using Brazilian ports.

During the investigations, police seized 50 tonnes of cocaine, and the police revealed that the money laundering and cocaine exports involves multi-millionaires in Brazil and abroad "with the use of several persons…and front companies, with the objective of giving a legitimate appearance to the profits of the trafficking".

Arrest warrants have also been issued in Spain, Colombia, Portugal and the UAE.

The investigation began two years ago after 776 kilograms of cocaine were seized whilst being exported to Belgium, Globo News reported.

Kiwan has also been accused of "double homicide and attempted murder" in 2010 of former Paraguayan senator Roberto Acevedo – an anti-drug trafficking advocate.

He had survived two gunshot wounds, however, his two security guards died in the attack. Kiwan was expelled from Paraguay at that time.

Kiwan is also reportedly wanted in Lebanon on drug trafficking charges and the country sought his extradition in 2012.

However, after the Lebanese government failed to provide the required documents, the Brazilian government denied the extradition request.

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