Brazilian judge invalidates the passport of the former Minister of the Environment in the investigation

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

A judge of Brazil’s Supreme Court revoked the passport of former Environment Minister Ricardo Sellers, who resigned earlier this week because of his alleged role in allowing the illegal export of timber from the Amazon rainforest.

Justice Carmen Lucia stated in a ruling that after federal prosecutors filed a motion that he was at risk of fleeing, Sales was barred from leaving the country.

According to court documents, the former minister was allowed to hand over his passport to the police within 24 hours.

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

In May of this year, the Federal Police revealed that Salles and several other government officials are under investigation for allowing illegally harvested Amazon rain forest timber to be exported to the United States and Europe for possible corruption and other criminal acts.

Earlier this month, Lucia also launched an investigation into whether Sales obstructed the police’s logging investigation.

Salles resigned on Wednesday, saying he wanted to make Brazil’s international and domestic agenda as smooth as possible.

During Salles’ tenure, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has surged, reaching its highest level in 12 years in 2020, which is seven times the size of London.

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