Timber smugglers used illegal routes to export more than US$ 17 million worth of timber to China, Myanmar’s ministry of commerce revealed recently quoting official data released by the Chinese government.
Official amounts of exported timber was just over US$ 30,000, but import data released officially by China’s Ruili and Wonton showed US$ 17.5 million worth of timber had been imported from Myanmar, the ministry said.
An official from the ministry speculated the timber smugglers must have used illegal routes to avoid official checkpoints along the road to Muse, Myanmar’s border town with China.
As China sets import restrictions on some agricultural products from Myanmar, local exporters find it difficult to get health recommendations from China for their exports, creating a growing illegal trade.
Myanmar trades mainly with China and Thailand. And recent official data for bilateral trade with Thailand also revealed smugglers had traded up to US$ 130 million on Myawaddy and Tercheliek routes in just one month.
The ministry, working together with respective departments seized illegal products worth Ks 6.7 billion recently on trade routes across the country.
Source: ELEVEN Myanmar