Helicopter registered by the Civil Police of Rio is apprehended on suspicion of use in mining on Yanomami land – 09/19/2021 – Environment

A helicopter seized by ANAC (National Civil Aviation Agency) on August 26, during an operation aimed at combating structures that support illegal mining in the Yanomami indigenous land, carried the prefix PP-EIH on its tail.

The owner of this aircraft, according to Anac records and the seizure term, is the Civil Police of the State of Rio de Janeiro.

The possibility that a police helicopter in Rio may have operated in illegal mining in Roraima, supporting logistics in the flashes in the Amazon, provoked a shoving game between the bodies involved.

TO sheet the Civil Police of Rio stated, in a statement, that the helicopter suffered an accident and was handed over to the insurance company in 2013, “not belonging to the Civil Police of Rio since then”. “The procedure was delivered to Anac at the time, following protocol. The helicopter registration was also canceled at the same time.”

Anac, however, said that there was no request for cancellation of registration or transfer of ownership of the helicopter. Neither the police nor the insurance company did this, the agency said in a statement.

The fact is that the helicopter was disfigured, in a shed of a company in Boa Vista suspected of being involved in the logistics of illegal mining on Yanomami land.

According to the apprehension term drawn up by Anac, the aircraft’s logbook and maintenance documents were not presented. The rear seats were removed and wooden boards were installed in their place, without authorization. This procedure is common in helicopters operating in mining, as space is used to carry cargo.

According to the ANAC document, there are indications of illegal operation “given the characterization found”. One of the elements was the identification of parts without traceability. According to the arrest report, the indications are that the helicopter was used to transport cargo.

Agents linked to the inspection and investigation bodies suspect that the scrap of the helicopter was purchased at an auction, and that parts from a second aircraft were attached. It is a process known as “cannibalization”.

If this happened, with the maintenance of the registration in the name of the Civil Police of Rio, the aircraft could have flown to mining areas without any risk of identifying the real owners.

Businessman Rodrigo Martins de Mello, owner of the Poços Artesianos Falls, where the helicopter was found and apprehended, purchased only the “carcass, scrap,” according to a note signed by lawyer Cláudio Dalledone.

According to the lawyer, the aircraft is, at this moment, “unusable”, but “it could be repaired and duly legalized with Anac to operate regularly”.

​The federal government paid R$124 million to companies that use helicopters suspected of guaranteeing logistics in illegal mines on indigenous land in the Amazon. Of this amount, R$ 75 million (60.5%) were paid in the two years and nine months of the Jair Bolsonaro government.

An Anac operation, with the participation of the PF, with support from Ibama and coordination by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, apprehended or interdicted 66 aircraft in Roraima suspected of operating in mines on Yanomami land, the largest in Brazil.

A sheet obtained the documents of the seizure of nine helicopters. The details of these seizures and the cross-referencing made by the report with data from aircraft registrations and payments made by the federal government show an alleged double game by people associated with air transport companies.

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