The Brazilian Federal Police is trying to find out who is behind a website selling timberland in the Brazilian Amazon. The site Resources Brazil presents itself as “The Brazil Timberlands Group.”
“We are sincerely convinced that investing in Brazil Timberlands with good title, following the laws, and protecting the future of the rain forests (sustainable harvesting only) is the best investment available worldwide.” they write in the site, adding:
“Why? Because through us you can buy the real state by the land price (at only USD$ 25 per acre) and get the woods for free (not less than USD$ 900 per acre).
According to Brazilian news agency Agência Estado, Resources Brazil, which seems to be based in the United States, is being investigated by the Brazilian police for promoting an illegal business.
Raimundo Freitas, regional chief of the Federal Police in the state of Pará, in northern Brazil, says that he still does not know if the site is a spoof or it is owned by an international gang of illegal land grabbers working with Amazon property.
“We have intelligence equipmet and methods to find out fast who are responsible for the site and which are their real goals,” Freitas told Agência Estado.
Following a congressional enquiry, a Brazilian and an American couple were detained two years ago by the Brazilian Federal Police after an investigation on illegal sale of Amazon lands. After several other indictments, this kind of commerce had disappeared from the Internet.
In August 2003 the Pará Federal Police detained real estate agent Nilvo Antônio Refatti from Rice Negócios Imobiliários Ltda, together with Hugo Canuto de Souza and Olavo Krug da Rosa. The company was accused of selling lands from the government through adversting on TV, newspaers and the Internet.
Resources Brazil nicely packages its goodies as an area that “knows no hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, volcanoes or terrorism and has a nearly limitless amount of fresh water, fresh air, clean food, and other natural resources.
“It is also home to an estimated 70% of the biodiversity that Planet Earth has to offer and has it’s own independent weather system, countless fresh water rivers and streams, unknown quantities of waterfalls and endless golden beaches. It is the last frontier of Planet Earth and virtually unknown to tourists.”
The site invites people to invest in timberland with deeded title, perfect for sustainable forestry, tropical crops, reforestation.
And they add: “Do you want to acquire an area as not as direct investment but to protect the Amazon and the Rain Forest and/or to enhance your corporate image?… According to Brazil Laws you can create a “private natural reserve area”. and help the beautiful Amazon region to be really preserved.”
Visitors to the site area also informed that “prices are still very cheap but increasing at amazing rate. Some years ago you could buy Amazon land with good title for USD$ 5 per hectare or less. Now a minimum price is USD$ 50 or a lot more, in areas with good papers, but without land access (USD$ 100 to USD$ 400 are normally asked).”
“Brazil’s Timberlands is, without doubt,” the site informs, “the cheapest highly productive land in the Western Hemisphere, and perhaps the world. By any measure, this land is extremely inexpensive relative to comparable land anywhere in the Western World.”
Resources Brazil promises land title and Public Registered Deed – (“escritura pública”) originated in a definitive sale from the State plus optional appraisal of the timber that the property will be authorized to harvest and authorization to clear up to 20% of the area.
In answer to the question: “Is safe to invest in Brazil timberlands?”, the visitor is informed that Japanese Corps are one of the biggest timberland owners in Brazil, that David Rockefeller owned for 20 years a farm of 250,000 acres and that American investor Donald Trump began this year to invest in Brazilian real estate.