Brazilians Used Google’s Orkut to Manage Drug Ring
Social networking has been on the verge of taking off for about a year now, and Google’s social networking system Orkut has been red hot in Brazil since its launch. However, the network has run into some controversy as of recently with a murder between two Orkut enemies about 6 months ago and news today that the Brazilian police busted a drug network that was using Orkut to manage a drug distribution ring. Brazilians make up more than half of Orkut’s 7 million members.
Now, don’t get this distribution ring confused with Lil Ze’ and Bennie from City of God. This ring was centered around Buzios and Niteroi. Buzios is one of the richest and more expensive Brazilian resort towns about an hour and a half north of Rio de Janeiro. A peninsula lined by great surf, a calm bay, and rocky beaches – Buzios is a beautiful Argentinian influenced hideaway that I and my wife stayed at for a week two years ago. It’s also near Cabo Frio, famous for its crystal clear water, white sands, and sand dune boarding.
Rueters reports that the Brazilian drug ring was using Orkut to move drugs around the three major locations : “We discovered the drug ring first via authorized phone tapping, and later the investigation included monitoring of their activities on the Internet,” said a duty officer at the Drugs Enforcement Service in the city of Niteroi, just across the bay from Rio de Janeiro.
The officer, who declined to be named, told Reuters most of those accused were detained in Niteroi, others in Rio and one in the resort town of Buzios. “We’ve nabbed 10 so far, but there may be more,” he added. The ring distributed mainly ecstasy and marijuana.
This news really gives the Buzios area a bad name, but not as much as it gives Google or Orkut. I highly recommend staying a couple of days in Buzios and the Cabo Frio area if you ever visit Brazil.