During the 18th century, Brazil’s gold rush centered on the town of Ouro Preto. For a time gold mined from this area was transported overland to the town of Paraty and thence by sea to Portugal via Rio de Janeiro. Aided by the many coves and islands between Paraty and Rio de Janeiro, shipments were inevitably subject to piracy. Today these same waters are being used by ocean going yachts to smuggle cocaine originating from Columbia, Bolivia and Paraguay to Europe.