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The Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is the most widely represented law enforcement agency in the world with more than 2,000 special agents and hundreds of local criminal fraud investigators, investigative assistants, intelligence research specialists, forensic accountants, and other experts combatting crime around the world.

In June, two criminal fraud investigators working for the DSS Overseas Criminal Investigation Division (OCI) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, were honored for their outstanding contributions to Mission Brazil’s international security cooperation efforts. Criminal Fraud Investigators Veronica and Mario received Mission Brazil’s Locally Employed Staff of the Year 2021 Award and the Brazilian Military Police’s Merito Da Fronteria (Border Merit) award, respectively.

Criminal Fraud Investigator Veronica

The U.S. Department of State employs nearly 1,500 local staff at its mission in Brazil, making Veronica’s award selection even more impressive. Her supervisors, Assistant Regional Security Officer-Investigators Matthew “Hew” Nau and Aaron Nielsen, commended Veronica for helping to identify a major international criminal organization and broker formal cooperation agreements between Brazil and the United States that facilitated information sharing on criminal investigations, as well as the implementation of a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gun tracing program in Brazil.

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Criminal Fraud Investigator Mario

The Brazilian Military Police presented Mario with a Merito Da Fronteria (Frontier Medal) for his role in orchestrating a Diplomatic Security Office of Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) equipment delivery to Brazilian police units along the remote border between Paraguay and Brazil. The award, rarely given to civilians, noted how the equipment made an immediate impact in deterring cross-border crime among units using the equipment. One of the ATA-provided helmets is known to have protected a Brazilian police officer during a maritime interdiction operation and likely saved his life.

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Criminal Fraud Investigators Veronica and Mario are also actively engaged in the Brazil Fugitives Project. This pilot program, conceived and developed by the DSS Overseas Criminal Investigation Division in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, helps identify and capture violent Brazilian fugitives in the United States and Brazil by sharing information on violent offenders between the two countries. The program prevents wanted criminals from obtaining vias and routinely results in fugitive arrests around the world.

DSS Office of Investigations Deputy Assistant Director Kimberly Brown congratulated the award recipients and noted that these two outstanding criminal fraud investigators and others like them are critical to DSS efforts to deter transnational crime and support the Department of State’s security cooperation initiatives in Brazil and the Western Hemisphere.

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U.S. Department of State

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