Brazilian gangster 'Playboy' shot dead by police
Published 10/08/2015 | 02:30
One of Rio de Janeiro's most wanted drug gang leaders has been shot dead by police - two months after calling for a ceasefire to stop civilians being killed.
Celso Pinheiro Pimenta, known as 'Playboy', was a leader in the Friends of Friends (ADA) gang - one of the three biggest criminal factions in Rio.
He had been on the run from prison after being sentenced to 15 years for drug trafficking, robbery and qualified homicide.
Playboy reportedly earned his nickname because he came from a middle-class family in the affluent south of Rio, but had fallen into crime by the age of 16.
As a gang leader on the run from a prison sentence, he gained notoriety after escaping from a semi-open prison in 2009 and continuing his high-profile affronts to the police.
Several tributes were left on a Facebook page dedicated to the criminal.
The 33-year-old had been the mastermind for the narcotics trade in Morro da Pedreira favela in the north of Rio and reports suggested he was plotting to take more territory in one of the city's biggest favela complexes, Mark.
A security services statement said: "One of the most wanted drug traffickers in Rio de Janeiro died on Saturday after being shot in a raid in Morro da Pedreira, in the north zone."
The police action involved 80 officers, armoured cars, a helicopter and the support of intelligence from the military police.
Police had offered a €14,000 reward for information that would help track Playboy down.
He was seen as an audacious gang leader, once ordering his henchmen to break into a sports complex and perform a synchronised swim with their rifles pointing out of the pool to mock the authorities.
In June, a recording emerged that appeared to feature Playboy calling for a ceasefire between gangs to stop bullets hitting members of the public.