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Brazil cargo theft declines

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, July 18, 2019

The number of stolen freight vehicles in Brazil saw a decline in the first quarter due to beefed up security measures. 

There were 3,680 cases of cargo theft in January-March, down 38% from the same period of 2018, according to the justice ministry. 

Theft of passenger vehicles also fell, to 46,844 from 66,477.

Justice minister Sergio Moro stressed that under his tenure the ministry will focus on better integrating the works of different security forces across the nation. 

Appointed by President Jair Bolsonaro as justice minister earlier this year, Moro is a former judge who gained fame for his prominent role in the massive Lava Jato probe.

Although state governments are in charge of public security in Brazil, the federal government is using the federal police's expertise and structure to support major investigations against criminal gangs, including those who specialize in cargo theft.

Brazil's deep recession in 2015-16 produced record-high unemployment, which led to an upswing in crime and violence. The economic crisis also left several state governments starved of funds and reduce their capacity to fight crime.

The crime wave of the recent years saw insurers with a strong focus on the transport and auto segments negatively impacted and some even refused to sell cargo coverage in high-risk areas.

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