Timber smuggling on the rise in Kachin, Sagaing

From the beginning of 2014-2015 FY till January, more than 41,271 tonnes of timber and over 12,000 wood logs were seized from Chinese smugglers in Kachin State, according to the Forestry Department.

It is also reported that huge amount of timber smuggling occurs in Kachin State and Sagaing Region.

According to the Forestry Department, nearly 20,000 tonnes of teak, hardwood, and other timbers were illegally traded in Kachin State and Sagaing Region while many illegal timber trading are seen in Ayeyawady Region, Taninthayi Region, Magway Region and Mandalay Region, too. Timber smuggling is less in other states and regions since these areas are facing scarcity of forest.

Despite the crackdown by concerned officials, timber smuggling is still on the rise in regions with unstable situation.

China is the main buyer of smuggled timber from Myanmar. Out of the US$7 billion worth of timber imported by China, 90 percent are from Myanmar, said an official during the seminar organised by the Forestry Association.

In January this year, 138 Chinese people were arrested for smuggling illegal timber to China from Myanmar.

Source: Eleven Myanmar

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