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Tarnished Gold: Aircraft, fuel key to illegal Amazon mining

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Police have intensified their efforts to identify and capture aircraft supporting illegal mining, but tracking down planes’ owners is stymied by the fact they’re usually registered to fronts – relatives, workers, or spouses who refuse to name names. Still, police said they have identified the true owners of most of the planes they’ve seized, and keep them as evidence while the investigations advance. Generally, the illegal aircraft owners are local elites who launder their money in Boa Vista hotels, restaurants, gyms, and gasoline stations, according to police officials, who declined to disclose names.



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