Brazilian police target environment minister in wood smuggling probe | Reuters

Brazilian police on Wednesday targeted Environment Minister Ricardo Salles and other officials in a probe of an alleged wood smuggling ring, according to court documents, throwing a harsh spotlight on a key figure in U.S.-Brazil environmental talks.

Salles has been leading negotiations with President Joe Biden’s administration in a push to get international funding of Brazilian efforts to protect the Amazon jungle, the world’s largest tropical rainforest.

However, as minister, Salles has presided over a surge in Amazon deforestation to a 12-year high in 2020 as the government rolls back environmental enforcement.

Supreme Court Justice Alexandre Moraes authorized search warrants and access to the minister’s bank and tax records as part of the police investigation into alleged corruption and contraband, according to a ruling seen by Reuters.

Source: Brazilian police target environment minister in wood smuggling probe | Reuters