Brazilian Drug Lord Turns Prison Cell into Luxurious Suite

Jarvis Chimenes Pavao, considered one of the most dangerous drug traffickers in South America, was serving an 8-year sentence in Tacumbu Prison, when police raided his cell to find it was actually a luxury suite.

Pavao was due to complete his sentence for money laundering next year, at which point he was likely to face extradition to his home country of Brazil, but Paraguayan police recently learned that he planned to escape by blowing a hole in the prison wall. To prevent Pavao from pulling an “El Chapo”, they raided his cell only to find that instead of an austere room, he was living in a luxurious three-room suite complete with air-conditioning, private bathroom, conference room, kitchen, library and multiple flat-screen TVs.


Photo: Hoy Newspaper

Photos taken in the since-destroyed VIP prison suite reveal stylishly tiled walls, plush furniture, wooden floors and even a DVD collection that included “Pablo Escobar,” a TV series on the feared Colombian kingpin and Chimenes Pavao’s hero and inspiration. It was reported that prisoners wanting to stay in the luxury unit had to pay Pavao a $5,000 fee and $600 weekly rent. Here they were allowed to use cell phones, the internet and receive visitors anytime.


Photo: Hoy Newspaper

Jarvis Chimenes Pavao has since been transferred to a special unit and his VIP suite has been destroyed, but news of his lavish living conditions have shaken the Paraguayan justice system to the core. The drug lord’s lawyer, Laura Acasuso, told reporters that the corruption that allowed her client to live in such luxury ran all the way to the top. “Six or seven justice ministers and six or seven prison directors” took bribes from Pavao, she said.


Photo: Ultima Hora/Rodrigo Houdin

Justice Minister Carla Bacigalupo was removed soon after the prison raid, and her successor vowed to cracked down on corruption. “We’re going to demolish Chimenes Pavao’s cell and take measures against the prison directors who allowed this inmate to enjoy these privileges,” Ever Martinez, the new Justice Minister, said. An investigation into who authorized the prison cell makeover is ongoing.


Photo: Hoy Newspaper

Chimenes Pavao was described as “the most loved man in this prison” by one of the inmates, and it’s easy to see why. During his stay in Tacumbu Prison, the drug lord had paid for a football pitch and chapel, the renovation of the prison library. He also covered the cooks’ salaries and hired inmates as bodyguards.


Photo: Senad

The prison staff will probably miss Pavao just as much, since his lawyers reveals that her client paid for lodgings for prison directors, toilets for the guards. “He never said he was a saint,” Acasuso said. “But he was completing his sentence and helping out with the money he earns legally through his companies.”


via BBC