Brazil Police Crack Down on Gambling

Federal police Friday arrested the chief organizer of Rio’s carnival parade, a federal judge and a prosecutor in a crack-down on illegal gaming and money laundering, authorities said.

Ailton Guimares Jorge, the president of the Independent League of Samba Schools, was among 24 people arrested for alleged involvement with illegal numbers games, bingo parlors and the distribution of slot machines, police said in a statement.

Also arrested were Judge Jose Eduardo Carreira Alvim, vice president of the federal court’s second district, and federal prosecutor Joao Sergio Pereira. Police did not explain how the officials were involved.

Anisio Abrahao David, former president of the Beija Flor samba group – this year’s Carnival (nyse: CCL – news – people ) champion, also was arrested in the crackdown, which also involved arrests in Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Bahia.

Rio’s annual Samba Parade is the centerpiece of Brazil’s carnival celebrations, which have largely been funded by the leaders of illegal numbers games.

Jorge and David were among 14 people convicted on similar gambling charges and sentenced to six years in prison in 1993. Both were released after serving only three years.

Those arrested will face charges ranging from corruption of public officials to influence pedaling and money laundering, police said.