The illegal timber export route was moved from the port of Manaus to Belém, Santos (SP) and Paranaguá (PR) after Operation Archimedes by the federal police and the MPF (Federal Ministry) dismantled a wood washing program in the US capital Amazon. The state terminal was a practically mandatory warehouse for the exit of cargo.
Studies show that from mid-2019 onwards, illegal timber from the Amazon was sent to other ports for export.
This week, President Jair Bolsonaro (no party) threatened to expose the countries that buy illegal timber and whose importers are included in the PF and MPF results. However, in a live network on a social network this Thursday (19), he did not keep his promise.
Previously, for example, the illegally harvested timber in Roraima was transported by BR-174 to Manaus. According to the research, the product is now traveling along the same motorway, does not stop in Manaus, follows the BR-319 (which is connected to Porto Velho) and arrives at the ports in the south of the country by land.
The pulverization of the wood in Brazil, before buying mainly companies in the US and European countries, led the MPF to ask the President of Ibama, Eduardo Fortunato Bim, a greater presence of the organ in the ports of Brazilians.
Bim met with MPF members on Thursday (19). At the time, prosecutors asked for more inspections in the ports.
The President of Ibama also felt the need to explain two internal shipments that resulted in increased returns of illegal timber.
A report released Thursday by Folha showed that a November 2019 order banned buyers of illegal timber from being sued if it was found that DOFs (documents of forest origin) were being defrauded without the buyer’s knowledge. DOFs are the necessary guidelines for transporting legal timber.
The order was extended in Ibama so that the confiscation of wood could also be prohibited. The result has been more illegal timber turnover, less caution on the part of buyers and less control.
In February, a new interpretive ordinance from Bim removed the need for a permit to export timber that only required DOF.
The flexibility included species that were critically endangered in the Amazon and had been in force for at least 45 days. In these species the President of Ibama declined.
The report showed that Ibama inspectors’ inspection of timber in ports has decreased significantly. The inspection has been reduced to an analysis of the export documents inserted into the electronic system.
During the investigation into Operation Archimedes, phone calls were made between loggers for breaches of confidentiality approved by the federal court. These dialogues show the loggers’ lack of concern about the inspection under the responsibility of the environmental authorities.
In conversations, those investigated show how easy it is to extract wood in the Amazon. Your concern is to keep this wood circulating in the system. For this purpose, fictitious credits are inserted into the DOF system in order to make illegal timber legal. The product is transported to the ports with DOF.
Fraud can treat wood extracted from indigenous areas and nature reserves as coming from legally managed areas.
The investigations showed, for example, that a management area was intact while important parts of a neighboring indigenous land were being cleared.
MPF requires Ibama to have a plan for inspecting timber in ports with the constant presence of inspectors. The understanding is that there is no control over the validity or even existence of DOFs in wood shipments.
Operation Archimedes has already resulted in a legal conviction for wood washing for fraud in the DOFs. The MPF has proposed public civil and criminal law measures since the investigation began in 2017.
When he said he would disclose countries buying illegal timber from the Brazilian Amazon, Bolsonaro was referring to the work of the operation.
The research focused on illegal loggers in Brazil and trying to identify buying companies outside the country, rather than on governments in other countries.
Live on Thursday (19), the president said he had a list of companies that buy illegal timber and the countries where it is hosted. However, unlike the previous speech, Bolsonaro tried to accuse companies of importing cargo, not countries.
“We have here the names of the companies importing this and which countries they belong to. We are not going to accuse country A, B or C of having committed a crime, but the company in those countries does. And they already have one Process, “he explained.
The speech is similar to that of Vice President Hamilton Mourão (PRTB), who downplayed the Bolsonaro threat on Thursday (19). “It’s not the country, it’s the company. The president has made it clear that it’s the companies, he makes that very clear,” said Mourão, who coordinates the Amazonian Council.
Julia Chaib worked together