IAP and Environmental Police dismantle illegal palm heart extraction scheme

A joint operation of the Environmental Institute of Paraná (IAP) and Environmental Police raided, on the night of Wednesday (17), an illicit production facility. The criminals illegally extracted the native species within the Lauráceas State Park, between the municipalities of Adrianópolis, Tunas do Paraná and Bocaiúva do Sul, in the Metropolitan Region of Curitiba.

Uma operação conjunta do Instituto Ambiental do Paraná (IAP) e Polícia Ambiental desmontou, na noite dessa quarta-feira (17), uma fabriqueta clandestina de palmito. Os criminosos faziam a extração ilegal da espécie nativa de dentro do Parque Estadual das Lauráceas, entre os municípios de Adrianópolis, Tunas do Paraná e Bocaiúva do Sul, na Região Metropolitana de Curitiba.Curitiba,18/01/2018.Foto: Divulgação IAP

377 kilos of palm heart, ready for consumption, and 1107 heads of fresh palm heart were seized, as well as materials and tools that were used during the process of extraction and preparation of the product for sale. Palm hearts have not yet gone through the cooking process in the illicit facility will be donated. The others will need to undergo a sanitary inspection.

The operation resulted in the arrest of four people, in three infraction notices that add up to R $ 125,65 thousand in fines and to an administrative proceeding with the IAP.

The raid done by police and the inspectors of the IAP was made possible by a monitoring network around the Conservation Unit. Neighbors, partner companies and public agencies are part of the network that monitors the activities carried out in the 32 thousand hectares of the Park and in its surroundings.

“This network gave us information that there are two cars standing near the park and loaded with palm hearts. We are our surveillance and a police force,” says park manager Michel Coutinho Hamon Mello.

The location, which is difficult to access, borders the state of São Paulo. “Many gangs take advantage of the size of the park and the mountainous relief to enter the unit and do the illegal extraction of palm heart, which is what most people fight on the spot. They flee to São Paulo, sell the products in small markets, which makes tracking difficult,” explains Michel.

Lauráceas State Park, which is the largest state conservation unit of integral protection, preserves 32 thousand hectares of Atlantic Forest. It contains wetlands with occurrence of primary forests, large trees and important diversity of fauna and flora.

Inserted in a characteristically mountainous region with deep valleys, the conservation unit contains an extensive water network, where there are also caves and associated limestone formations.

The site also ensures the conservation of many species of fauna, such as black-fronted piping guan, ornate hawk-eagle, purple-breasted parrot, as well as many endemic or endangered animals, such as cougar, paca, tapir, deer, white-lipped peccary and lontra.

Source: Agencia de Noticias do Paraná