Elon Musk's Starlink Terminals Being Used By Criminals In Brazil's Amazon Region, Investigation Shows

A satellite terminal from Starlink made by Elon Musk's SpaceX, was reportedly found by agents of Brazil’s environment agency and the country’s highway police in a raid on an illegal mining site in the Amazon region. 

What Happened: On Tuesday, the agents found the terminal in a functional state next to a pit, reported Associated Press.

Other items seized at the site included mercury, gold, and ammunition. The raid took place in an area known as Ouro Mil, which is controlled by Brazil’s dreaded First Command of the Capital, according to the report. 

Over the last five weeks, Brazil’s environment agency, IBAMA, has reportedly seized seven Starlink terminals in the country’s largest indigenous territory — Yanomami Land.

On Wednesday, the agency shared a photo of the seized terminal on Twitter.

Why It Matters: IBAMA’s operations coordinator Hugo Loss said that the Starlink technology was “extremely fast and really improves the ability to manage an illegal mine.”

He said, “You can manage hundreds of mining sites without ever setting foot in one,” according to the Press.

See Also: How To Invest In Space Startups

In September, Musk said Starlink was connecting schools in the Amazon region. At the time an official belonging to the previous Jair Bolsonaro administration had showcased such a connected classroom.

A project to bring Starlink to 19,000 unconnected schools in the Amazon region hasn’t moved forward, reported the Press.

Only three terminals were installed in the region’s schools for a 12-month trial period, according to Brazil’s Ministry of Communication, which said it hadn’t signed any contract with SpaceX, according to the report. 

Read Next: Elon Musk's SpaceX To Team Up With T-Mobile For Testing Starlink's Satellite-To-Cell Service

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