The Brazilian Federal Police carried out on Wednesday an operation against illegal gold mining and trade in the Yanomami Indigenous Territory in the states of Amazonas and Roraima.
According to investigations, the ore extracted from the territory and Venezuela was sold abroad. The illegal actions generated almost R$6 billion (US$1.2 billion).
The scheme would involve the smuggling of Venezuelan gold, which would enter Brazil clandestinely as payment for the export of food through markets in Roraima and Amazonas.
Hired transport companies would hide the smuggled gold inside trucks, which would enter Roraima without the necessary procedures and payment of taxes.
Subsequently, the ore would be purchased by other members of the scheme and sent to illegal mining companies, responsible for making payments to supermarkets and food distributors.
Four arrest warrants and another 48 search and seizure warrants were issued in at least 8 Brazilian states.
Among those arrested is businessman Brubeyk do Nascimento, who was detained in a luxury condominium in Manaus.
He was arrested previously in 2020 with two Americans while attempting to ship 35 kg of gold to the United States illegally.
Between 2015 and 2020, Brazil traded 229 tonnes of gold with evidence of illegality, equivalent to almost half of the gold produced and exported by the country, according to the NGO Instituto Escolhas.
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON MINING.COM