The Federal Police in Amapá destroyed engines and other illegal mining machinery in the Montanhas do Tumucumaque National Park, which is Brazil's largest fully protected conservation unit. The agents found the equipment left behind by criminals during Operation Ancestors, which took place between Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th. A survey released in February this year shows that illegal mining areas have grown by 304 per cent in one year within the National Park. The data comes from the Indigenous Research and Training Institute (Iepé). According to the investigation, the exploitation caused by illegal prospectors has a direct impact on the local ecosystem, with damage that can be considered irreversible in up to 30 kilometres of the course of rivers in the region. Also according to the police, those investigated could face charges of usurpation of federal property, pollution and deforestation. If convicted, they could face up to 13 years in prison and a fine. As well as the PF, the operation involved the Amapá Civil Police, the Air Tactical Group (GTA), the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation(ICMBio) and the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources(Ibama). No-one was arrested during the operation.

Fonte: Agência Amazônia

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