On July 12, Brazil’s Federal Police launched Operation “Paper Forests” (Florestas de Papel) in the Brazilian Amazon states of Roraima, Mato Grosso, Amazonas, Maranhão and Pará.
Reportedly, 56 search and seizure warrants are being served by 150 agents.
According to the Police, they identified about 91,000 cubic meters of lumber (that’s more than 38 Million board feet!), that could have been commercialized using fraudulent documents of forest origin (DFOs) between 2014 and 2017. They estimate it would have required about 8,000 truckloads of logs to yield this much lumber.
The scheme reportedly involved as many as 22 timber companies.
Species that were allegedly commercialized fraudulently include Ipe, Massaranduba, Cedro and others.
A business-owner from Manaus who reportedly owns eight of the 22 timber companies was arrested.
Buyers of wood products need to go beyond document collection. Documents without analysis (and other methods of verifying wood flows) do not reduce exposure to legal risks. In many cases, they do the opposite by presenting a false sense of “legality”.
For buyers of Brazilian wood products, one easy step you can take is to automate your monitoring of IBAMA certificates. It’s a simple process that can be completed in minutes.
A second step would be to contact us and discuss ways in which we can help you reduce your risk.
Header photo: Felipe Werneck/IBAMA