Foresters, former officials of the Secretariat of State for the Environment (SEMA), and representatives of timber companies were among those targeted by the 128 warrants issued on March 13 by the 7th Criminal Court of Cuiabá, Mato Grosso.
The Operation, called Operação Terra à Vista, is a result of an investigation conducted by the Specialized Environmental Police (DEMA) into a group of suspects within SEMA that were accused of defrauding the System of Commercialization and Transportation of Forest Products (SISFLORA).
According to the investigation, 10 shell companies were incorporated for the purpose of simulating the transport of logs through the issuance of forest transport guides. The companies were then able to generate and transfer credits to other locations using SISFLORA’s system.
This allows timber that was presumably harvested illegally to appear to have documentation and legal provenance. The amount of credits that were fraudulently released totaled 118,083.17 cubic meters. A volume equivalent to roughly about 5,900 truckloads of logs.
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Header photo: Felipe Werneck for IBAMA