Ribeirão Preto

Brazil police crash into plane to thwart smugglers' escape

Federal police in Ribeirão Preto, Brazil employ bold tactics to stop a light plane carrying smuggled goods from taking off, smashing their vehicle into its wing at high speed.

In a scene reminiscent of an action movie, officers filmed the moment they crashed into the plane on rural airstrip in the northeastern region of São Paulo.

The aircraft appeared ready for take off when the police car sped towards it, dramatically colliding with its left wing.

As the officers ran to confront the suspects on board, the driver can be heard shouting to his armed colleague, "I hit the wing, I hit the wing. Do not shoot."

Local authorities later confirmed that the aircraft, specially fitted for smuggling goods and often used for drugs, was carrying thousands of pounds worth of computers and surveillance technology, as well as a bicycle.

Five suspects were arrested in the high octane finale to what had been a month-long police investigation involving 30 men, according to local police officer Edson Geraldo de Souza.

Counting the cost of the arrests, Mr de Souza said the windscreen of the police vehicle had been damaged and would cost around 700 Brazilian Reals (£250) to fix, a sum that the "benefit" of downing the plane well outweighed he said.

(Published by The Telegraph - November 2, 2011)

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