Along One of S. America’s Busiest Smuggling Routes, Electronics are the New Contraband

Along One of S. America’s Busiest Smuggling Routes, Electronics are the New Contraband

ALONG HIGHWAY 369, Brazil -- It was the middle of the night when an officer waved the busload of smugglers off the highway at a checkpoint in Paraná state. A military policeman in a crisp khaki uniform and bullet-proof vest boarded the bus and began shining his flashlight at faces and overhead bins.

Two men were ordered off the bus to unload their cargo from the compartment below. Soon, however, they were back to take a hurried cash collection. After a sufficient number of wallets were opened and relieved of bills, the bus was waved on.

The passengers breathed a collective sigh of relief.

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