INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Federal Police Arrest 49 for Illegal Logging

Published: Fri 11 Aug 2006 05:23 PM
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SUBJECT: FEDERAL POLICE ARREST 49 FOR ILLEGAL LOGGING
REFTEL: 05 BRASILIA 1510
1. Brazilian Federal Police together with the Brazilian Institute
for Environment and Renewable Resources (IBAMA) arrested 49 of a
total 54 people accused of being part of an illegal logging ring.
Among those apprehended were 16 IBAMA state officials and 33 timber
industry entrepreneurs. Similar to the gangs involved in operation
Curupira in June of 2005 (reftel), the crimes consisted of forging
ATPFs, the authorization to transport forest products issued by
IBAMA. Officials apprehended suspects in the states of Amapa, Para,
Santa Catarina and Sao Paulo. Over 700 thousand cubic meters of
wood were sold at an estimated value of US$ 25 million over the last
six years.
2. Investigations started in October, 2005 and involved over 200
federal agents. According to the Minister of Environment, Marina
Silva, this is the tenth joint investigation against environmental
crimes between the Federal Police and IBAMA, since 2003. She added
that such crimes have been going on for decades in Brazil and are
only now being fought. In order to minimize forgeries like these,
IBAMA is computerizing the ATPF process authorizations in
substitution for the hand made ones that are used nowadays. By
September 1st, 2006 federal authorities will accept only electronic
ATPFs.
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