Brazil arrests 8 in Amazon deforestation swoop

2014-08-29 13:08
(Ye Aung Thu, AFP)

(Ye Aung Thu, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sao Paulo – Brazilian police said Thursday they had made eight arrests in raids to smash a gang considered the worst perpetrators of deforestation in the Amazon region.

"Eight arrests have been made so far. Police are searching for a further six [suspects] considered to be on the run", a police spokesperson in the Amazonian state of Para told AFP.

The gang would invade public land in northern Para state, burn down forest, divided the land into parcels and sell them, raking in millions of dollars in the process, according to federal police who moved in on the gang on Wednesday.

According to the Brazilian Environmental Institute, the group has carried out environmental crimes valued at $230m, making them "the greatest destroyers of the Brazilian Amazon currently active".

Para authorities say the state has suffered some 15 500ha of deforestation, with the state prosecutor's office estimating that the area where the gang was operating accounts for about 10% of the total.

The institute said on Wednesday the gang members should be charged with invading public land, environmental crimes, forgery, criminal association and money laundering.

Police say they have also issued warrants for further arrests in the states of Sao Paulo, Parana and Mato Grosso.

If convicted, the suspects face more than 50 years in prison, as could firms or individuals who did business with them.

Deforestation in Brazil hit a peak of 27 000km2 in 2004 but fell in 2010 to a low of 4 571km2.

Last year, the government said deforestation in the northern Amazonia region had reached 5,843km2, a 28% rise over the previous year.

Read more on:    brazil  |  conservation  |  plants  |  environment

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.