Expelled from Mozambique, fugitive cocaine boss heads to Brazilian jail

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MAPUTO/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Mozambique on Sunday expelled a fugitive Brazilian cocaine trafficker following his arrest this week, a case that underlines the growing global reach of Brazil's so-called First Capital Command (PCC) gang, officials said.

Gilberto Aparecido dos Santos, aka "Fuminho," had been on the run for more than 20 years after escaping from a Brazilian prison until his capture in a luxury hotel in Maputo on Tuesday. He was one of Brazil's most-wanted fugitives, police said.

Mozambique's interior ministry said in a statement that dos Santos had been expelled for having entered the southeast African country illegally. Dos Santos was using a false passport, Brazil's federal police have said.

"The expulsion order was given to the citizen and carried out by the national migration service," the Mozambique Interior Ministry statement said.

Brazil's Justice Minister Sergio Moro confirmed Dos Santos' expulsion later on Sunday in a Twitter post that included a photo of the Brazilian Air Force jet that returned him to Brazil. Moro said dos Santos would head to a federal jail, without specifying which one.

"A big hit against organized crime," Moro said.

Originally formed as a prison gang in Sao Paulo, the PCC has spread across Brazil and is increasingly moving cocaine overseas, especially to Europe and Africa, authorities said. Dos Santos was one of the gang's most important cocaine brokers, the federal police said, and crucial to its international business.

(Reporting by Manuel Mucari and Gabriel Stargardter; editing by Grant McCool and Cynthia Osterman)

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