The Federal Police in Pará launched operation Retomada II this Wednesday morning (6), which aims to dismantle a criminal organization identified as responsible for the largest deforestation ever recorded in the Amazon biome.
According to researchers’ estimates, around 22,000 hectares were deforested by land grabbers in the Santarém region, in Pará, and much of this land was used for raising cattle.
11 search and seizure warrants were executed in the states of Pará and Mato Grosso. Among the targets are engineers, businesspeople and public servants from the government of Pará.
According to the PF, they are part of a criminal organization alongside a family of farmers. Two land regularization companies were also targeted, in addition to the office of a lawyer who would have privileged access to assessments and embargoes carried out by a federal environmental authority.
The investigations identified that the companies, through their partners and employees, had defrauded registrations of public areas of the Union by inserting false data into systems and falsifying documents. The Federal Police points out that the employees also worked on planning and monitoring deforestation in real time.
The aforementioned lawyer, who is one of the targets, is also being investigated for allegedly negotiating the payment of bribes to state public servants who allegedly caught illegal deforestation.
In the decision authorizing the operation, the Federal Court of Pará decreed the sequestration of approximately R$116 million and nine of the group’s properties. In addition, it was determined that public servants and lawyers would be removed from their duties.
In August of this year, the Federal Police launched the first phase of Operation Retomada. On that occasion, the PF arrested businessman Bruno Heller, considered “the greatest devastator of the Amazon biome”. Three search and seizure warrants were also executed in the municipalities of Novo Progresso, in Pará, and in Sinop, in Mato Grosso. There was also the kidnapping of vehicles and around 20 properties, 11 of which were farms, in addition to the seizure of 10 thousand head of cattle.
Source: CNN Brasil
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