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Brazilian minister of environment suspected of timber smuggling

Brasilia, May 19 (Prensa Latina) The Federal Police (PF) of Brazil on Wednesday raided the offices of the Ministry of Environment and Minister Ricardo Salles's home, as part of an investigation into corruption and illegal timber exports.

The police operation was authorized by Judge Alexandre de Moraes, from the Federal Supreme Court (STF), who also ordered the disclosure of Salles’s bank and tax information.

He also ordered the preventive dismissal of the president of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), Eduardo Bim, and of nine other public officials who held positions of trust in the agencies.

In the action, De Moraes also ruled the immediate suspension of the enforcement of an order issued in February 2020, which allowed the export of forest products without the need to issue export permits.

This order, drafted at the request of companies that had unlicensed shipments seized in the United States and Europe, resulted in the regularization of more than 8,000 shipments of illegally exported timber between 2019 and 2020, PF reported.