Brazilian judge cancels former environment minister’s passport, probe | Environmental News


Ricardo Salles resigned earlier this week after being accused of approving the illegal export of timber from the Amazon.

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge has revoked the passport of former Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, who resigned earlier this week amid an inquiry into his alleged role in permitting the illegal export of timber from the Amazon rainforest.

Justice Carmen Lucia said in a sentence that Salles was prevented from leaving the country after federal prosecutors entered into a motion that will be considered a flight risk.

The former minister was given 24 hours to hand over his passport to the police, according to court documents.

Salles could not immediately be reached for comment. The former minister denied any wrongdoing.

In May, federal police disclosed that Salles and several other government officials were being investigated for allegations of possible corruption and other crimes in allowing the illegal timber of the Amazon rainforest to be exported to the United States and in Europe.

Earlier this month, Lucia also launched an investigation to see if Salles had obstructed the police registration probe.

Salles resigned Wednesday, saying he wanted to allow Brazil’s international and national agenda to be realized as soon as possible.

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon developed during Salles ’tenure, reaching a maximum of 12 years in 2020 with an area seven times the size of destroyed London.





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