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Myanmar court jails 9 people for timber smuggling

A local court sentenced nine people to 10 years in jail each for timber smuggling, an official of the Yangon Region Forestry Department said.

They were found guilty of trying to smuggle out of the country 33 tonnes of teak and 163 tonnes of processed wood in 13 shipping containers at Myanmar International Port in Ahlone township in January 2017.

The court ordered the government to confiscate and dispose of all the timber.

A department team acting on a tipoff intercepted the illegal timber shipment at the port in Ahlone, prompting a search of all the goods stored in the compound.

After the seizure, the team recovered 400 tonnes of illegal timber in several containers during a random check of a compound in Mingaladon township in Yangon.

Another 293 tonnes of illegal padauk/tamalan wood were recovered in Shwe Pyi Thar township, and 38.4 tonnes of teak, padauk and kokko wood in Hlaing Tharyar township.

The department said that in 2017, the agency seized 40,000 tonnes of illegal timber.

Aside from illegal drugs and illegal jade mining, illegal logging is a thriving business in the country, where deforestation is rampant due to weak forest management and law enforcement.

Exports of raw timber were banned to protect forests in 2014 but illegal logging and timber smuggling continues unabated, according to environmental groups.

The government is reviewing its policies to boost forest management and protection. – Translated

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Source : Myanmar Times

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