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Treasury Sanctions Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) Operative

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Diego Macedo Gonçalves do Carmo (Gonçalves), a member of Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC), a Brazil-based criminal organization sanctioned pursuant to counter narcotics authorities. The PCC is the most notorious organized crime group in Brazil and among the largest in Latin America, and Gonçalves is a key operative responsible for laundering hundreds of millions of dollars for the organization. 

“With an extensive network throughout Latin America, as well as an expanding global presence, the PCC represents one of the most significant narcotics trafficking organizations of concern in the region,” said Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian E. Nelson. “The United States will continue to stand with Brazil and other partners in the region in our efforts to counter the PCC’s ability to operate, including its ability to launder illicit funds through the global financial system.” 

Today’s action would not have been possible without the cooperation of Brazilian law enforcement authorities. 

FOLLOW-UP DESIGNATION OF PCC OPERATIVE

Gonçalves is a Brazil-based member of the PCC. In November 2022, the Court of Justice of the State of São Paulo sentenced Gonçalves, along with other individuals, to seven years and 11 months in prison, on drug trafficking charges. According to the court, Gonçalves is responsible for laundering 1.2 billion Brazilian reals ($240 million) for the PCC. The judge who presided over the sentencing identified the defendants as members of the PCC and stated that they coordinated sectors of the criminal organization related to drug trafficking. Though incarcerated, Gonçalves remains active in PCC affairs, delivering instructions from behind bars.  

Additionally, Gonçalves was found to have participated in the robbery of a branch of Banco do Brasil in Uberaba, Brazil on June 27, 2019.

OFAC designated Gonçalves pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 14059 for being owned, controlled, or directed by, or having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the PCC.

Today’s action follows OFAC’s designation of the PCC on December 15, 2021, as part of the first tranche of designations under E.O. 14059, a new counter narcotics authority issued by President Biden to give Treasury greater flexibility, speed, and power to sanctions those within the global drug trade. Rising to prominence in São Paulo in the 1990s, the PCC has forged a bloody path to dominance through drug trafficking, as well as through money laundering, extortion, murder-for-hire, and drug debt collection. The PCC operates throughout South America and its operations reach the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia.

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the designated individual described above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. In addition, any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. U.S. persons may face civil or criminal penalties for violations of E.O. 14059.

Today’s action is part of a whole-of-government effort to counter the global threat posed by the trafficking of illicit drugs into the United States that is causing the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans annually, as well as countless more non-fatal overdoses. OFAC, in coordination with its U.S. government partners and foreign counterparts and in support of President Biden’s National Drug Control Strategy, will continue to target and pursue accountability for foreign illicit drug actors.

The power and integrity of OFAC sanctions derive not only from its ability to designate and add persons to the SDN List, but also from OFAC’s willingness to remove persons from the SDN List consistent with the law. The ultimate goal of sanctions is not to punish, but to bring about a positive change in behavior. For information concerning the process for seeking removal from an OFAC list, including the SDN List, please refer to OFAC’s Frequently Asked Question 897 hereFor detailed information on the process to submit a request for removal from an OFAC sanctions list, please click here.

For more information on the individual designated today, click here.

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Official news published at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy2180

- Part of VUGA -USA media group