On Wednesday, May 19, a Federal Police operation targeted the Brazilian Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles, and the president of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), Eduardo Bim. The task force investigates illegal timber exports to the United States and Europe.
The warrants for search and apprehension were issued by the minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), Alexandre de Moraes. According to the Federal Police, 160 agents are executing 36 warrants in the states of Pará and São Paulo, and in the Federal District, including residential addresses of the minister Ricardo Salles.
The Supreme Court decision determined the immediate suspension of the Ibama Order issued in February 2020, which allowed the importation of products extracted from forests without export authorizations.
The initial evidence suggests that the document was elaborated due to the demand of companies who had their shipments seized overseas. It led to the regularization of about 8 thousand illegal shipments between 2019 and 2020.
Besides the searches, the president of IBAMA, Eduardo Bim, is among the 10 public agents removed from office by another Supreme Court order. The professionals occupied trust functions in IBAMA and in the Minister of the Environment.
The breach of the tax and bank secrecy of the minister and of IBAMA workers was also authorized by Alexandre de Moraes within Operation Akuanduba.
Brasil de Fato has asked the Ministry of the Environment and Ibama for their statements on the case and currently awaits their responses.