One of Brazil's biggest ever crackdowns on corruption Friday netted judges, gambling lords and police officers.
Federal police arrested up to 23 people in Rio de Janeiro and another in Bahia. Among them were appeals court judge Jose Eduardo Carreira Alvim, two other appeals court judges, a federal prosecutor, two federal police chiefs, attorneys and entrepreneurs.
Four lords involved in an illegal animal game popular in Brazil were also among those arrested.
Many of the gambling lords have a strong influence over Rio de Janeiro's internationally famous carnival, as they finance some of the traditional samba schools.
Among those arrested with links to the carnival was Ailton Guimaraes Jorge, also known as Captain Guimaraes, president of the Honor of Rio's Samba Schools League, which organizes the annual parade.
The other lords arrested were Julio Guimaraes, who is the captain's nephew, and Anisio Abraao David, who is president of 2007 carnival parade competition. Lords Beija-flor de Nilopolis and Antonio Petrus Kalil, known as Turcao, were also detained by police.
Officers also seized a huge amount of cash at the gambling lords' houses which took two armored trucks to transport away.
Investigations that culminated in the crackdown called Operation Hurricane began a year ago, when police suspected that an illegal scheme to import slot machine parts was being run by the gambling lords.