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US and Brazil investigate PCC link to environmental crimes, says undersecretary

On an official trip to Brazil, the Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence at the US Treasury, Brian Nelson, said he had spoken with Brazilian government officials about a possible link between the PCC (Primeiro Comando da Capital) and environmental crimes. According to him, Brazil and the United States continued a task force against international drug trafficking.

The visit comes eight months after a meeting between representatives of both governments, in Brazil, which made it possible to include the PCC on a block list of the Agency for the Control of Foreign Assets (OFAC, its acronym in English). If, at the beginning of the cooperation, the impediment was limited to the figure of the organization, now the structure allows, for example, the inclusion of PCC members in the organization’s list.

“This really created the framework for us to work collaboratively with Brazilian counterparts in identifying specific individuals and other financial enablers who are supporting the PCC, to (…) stop its operations. And that could include working with our financial intelligence units in the United States to potentially track assets and provide guidance to financial industries in the United States on red flags and typologies related to the CCP’s operation.” The list does not yet include, however, names of members of the criminal faction.

According to Brian Nelson, dialogues on environmental crimes took place at all meetings with Brazilian authorities. The US government representative said that there is a joint concern about how to prevent members of drug trafficking and criminal organizations from using illegal mining to launder money and generate revenue.

“We are focused on illegal gold mining. Not only in Brazil, but in other parts of the world”.

The American delegation traveled to the Federal Capital earlier this week, where they met with members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Police, COAF (Council for the Control of Financial Activities) and the Central Bank.

This Wednesday (17), the group participated in meetings with representatives of financial institutions, in São Paulo. There were also dialogues with NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations), which, according to Nelson, resulted in some of the most efficient conversations about what can be seen in places where environmental crimes are practiced.

“We had a good conversation about the role of organized crime and other corrupt actors involved in environmental crimes, specifically as it relates to mining and logging.”

The undersecretary stated that the information shared with Brazilian authorities did not come from the US Treasury department, but from connections made by partners in government agencies in Brazil. Without giving details, Brian Nelson said that the Brazilian government presented a series of measures that have been taken and ways for the countries to work together.

THE CNN requested information from Itamaraty about the content of the meetings, but until the publication of this report, no response was received.

Source: CNN Brasil

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