Record haul of contraband seized in Brazil
Brazilian authorities have been intensifying pesticide inspection operations in the field. Several national and regional public bodies co-ordinated operations in Parana state, where they scored a record haul in one action involving 12 teams earlier this month. Some 380 kg of illegal pesticides were seized, along with 172 full and 45 empty containers. They inspected 252 farms across 30 municipalities, fining 24 businesses for the use or storage of illegal pesticides. They were fined a total of R$502,000 (US$221,000), with three being sought prison terms. The Ministry of Agriculture rates the haul as “alarming”, as almost 10% of inspected properties had illegal products. The public prosecutor’s office may sue suspects for “environmental crimes” in the courts.