The TRF-3 federal judge, André Nekataschalow, denied the defense’s request to annul the precautionary measures. However, the magistrate reduced the bail from 200 to 10 minimum wages to be paid by the businessman.
Luis Antônio was managing partner of the company Kin Mineração Ltda and Mineração Aricá. He was also a co-administrator appointed by a minority partner of Sollo Mineração. The two mining companies are being investigated for illegally purchasing mercury for gold extraction.
The Court accepted the Federal Police’s request to apply precautionary measures to the businessman, such as paying bail and collecting his passport. The PF had also requested temporary arrest, but was denied by the Judiciary.
The defense – made by lawyer Hélio Nishiyama – claimed, in a Habeas Corpus request, that the client is only a minority partner and there would be no need for precautionary measures.
“The status of minority co-administrator of the legal entity under investigation, associated with the resignation and management role, highlights the concrete unnecessary need for personal precautionary measures, particularly when the crimes investigated date back more than a year”, says an excerpt from the request.
Furthermore, he explained that Luis Antônio’s name is not mentioned in the cell phone that contains conversations on a messaging application with negotiations for the sale and purchase of smuggled mercury despite having his companies mentioned.
The companies Kin Mineradora Ltda and Mineração Aricá Ltda, of which Luis Antônio Taveira Mendes was a partner, were identified by the Federal Police as buyers of illegal mercury, an element used to extract gold. The 2 mining companies were search and seizure targets, on November 8, during Operation Hermes II.
According to the PF, an extensive organized chain of individuals and companies involved in the illegal scheme of trading mercury and gold extracted from mines in the Amazon was identified.
The scheme, as a whole, would have removed 7 tons of mercury credits from the systems of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama).
The investigation points out that, initially, the loss to public coffers is more than R$5 billion in the scheme that has several companies being investigated.
The PF requested the blocking of more than R$2.9 billion from those being investigated, which was determined by the Federal Court of Campinas (SP). 605 kg of mercury were seized during the operation.