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Illegal gold mining probe leads to arrests in Brazil

Illegal activities were also found in Suriname and the French Guiana

Published in 18/06/2019 - 18:05

By Agência Brasil Brasília

Brazilian federal police Tuesday (Jun 18) exercised arrest warrants in cities across three states: Amapá, Goiás, and São Paulo. Operation Ouro Perdido (“lost gold”) was launched by the police to probe into a criminal organization based in Oiapoque, Amapá, specialized in the illegal exploitation and trade of gold from clandestine mining sites in Brazil, Suriname, and the French Guiana.

Investigators found that several commercial establishments in Oiapoque received the gold illegally extracted from the border area. The establishments sold gold illicitly “to people and companies, including a financial institution, in several places in Brazil.”

“Under the probe, information was exchanged by Brazilian and French authorities on the possibility of crimes in French territory,” the police said in a note. The exchange is reported to have been carried out by Brazilian agents in French Guiana and the police cooperation center in the city of Saint-Georges-de-l’Oyapock.

The crackdown was supported by Brazil’s Federal Revenue Service, the Federal Prosecution Service, the Brazilian Armed Forces, and the Brazilian Army.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira Edition: Aécio Amado / Augusto Queiroz

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