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Garimpeiros have R$2.9 billion blocked during PF operation

This Wednesday (8), the Federal Police carried out 34 search and seizure warrants in cities in Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

The objective is to investigate and repress the illegal trade and use of mercury, criminal organization and association, reception, smuggling, false documents and money laundering.

The crimes are related to the smuggling and cover-up of mercury, which has as its final destination the supply of mines in areas that make up the Legal Amazon.

In addition to the searches, the Court ordered the seizure and unavailability of assets of those under investigation in an amount exceeding R$2.9 billion, with the aim of repairing the environmental damage caused. There was also the imposition of bonds of 200 minimum wages (R$ 264 thousand). No one was arrested.

In total, 140 federal police officers and 30 Ibama employees participate in this second phase of the operation called “Hermes (Hg) II”.

Those investigated may be liable for environmental crimes and crimes against environmental administration, ideological falsehood, use of false documents, smuggling, criminal association, reception and danger to the life or health of others, in addition to criminal organization, usurpation of Union assets and concealment of assets.

All evidentiary material and seized assets will be sent to the Federal Police Station in Campinas (SP) for continued analysis.

First phase

Operation Hermes (Hg) I, launched in December 2022, was considered the largest police operation in the country launched to dismantle the illegal use of mercury and began with the investigation of a company based in Paulínia (SP), which According to the PF, he used his authorized activities to produce false mercury credits in the Ibama system.

From the analysis of basic sources, such as documents and electronic devices, for more than ten months, the Federal Police identified an extensive organized chain of individuals and legal entities involved in the illegal scheme of trading mercury and gold extracted from mines in the Amazon and removed seven tons of mercury credits from Ibama systems.

Operation Hermes (Hg) II, launched today, aims to deepen the investigations, seeking evidence of the functioning of this scheme, the involvement of these people, especially those mainly responsible for the trade and the respective final buyers of illegal mercury, in addition to identifying the assets built to conceal illicit activity and the gains arising from it.

Source: CNN Brasil

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