Federal Case Investigates Bribery Scheme with 61 Loggers in the Amazon

Operation conducted by the PF and the Attorney General's Office is the largest ever carried out on the illegal timber market in the Amazon


According to documents in the Archimedes Operation, sixty-one lumber companies in the Amazon were involved in a vast illegal logging and transportation scheme. The payment of bribes guaranteed fraud, and those investigated used 20 different names to refer to bribery, such as "watermelon," "guaraná," "calmante," and "baba."

Operation Archimedes is a joint mission by the Federal Police and the Federal Public Ministry. It is the largest investigation ever carried out on the illegal timber market in the Amazon, with two phases started - in 2017 and 2019 - and with the investigations underway, amid the intense rhythm of washing logs, planks, and beams.

SAO FELIX DO XINGU, PA. 20/07/2020 ( Foto: Lalo de Almeida/ Folhapress ) - Folhapress

Based on an analysis of the documents, the report identified 61 loggers suspected of operating in the parallel market, mainly in southern Amazonas. The amount is expected to increase in the face of continuing investigations.

The bribe —or "blessing", "photo", "leaf", "fish", "package" and "ear", as shown in the telephone conversations captured in the investigations—was paid to expedite licenses to use management areas; prevent inspections; or ensure that protected areas are listed, in some way, as areas with permission for use by loggers, according to the documents analyzed.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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