BOA VISTA, Brazil (AP) — The scorching Amazon sun beats down as a group of agents inspect the body of a black helicopter. Nearby, in the backyard of the federal police headquarters in the city of Boa Vista, sit more than twenty aircraft — all seized.
Some bear signs of violent crashes: caved-in cockpits with wings broken off. Others feature interiors with stripped-out passenger seats in order to load up with more men and women, plus additional motors, fuel, food, and other cargo. Before they were confiscated, the aircraft were allegedly used for flying in and out of illegal gold mining sites.