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Lao Casino Kingpin Zhao Wei Denies US Treasury “Criminal Organization” Designation

Notorious Lao casino operator Zhao Wei has publicly denied the the US Treasury Department’s assertion that his business empire constitutes a “transnational criminal organization.” The Chinese national, who owns the Kings Romans Casino in the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GTSEZ) where Laos, Thailand and Myanmar (Burma) meet, has decried the US allegations as “a […]

Major Dutch timber company found guilty of dealing in illegal teak

Dutch company Boogaerdt Hout has been found guilty of violating the European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) for placing illegal Burmese teak on the market. The company has two months in which to clear its supply chain of illegal wood. An investigation has revealed a major Dutch timber company placed illegally sourced teak from Myanmar on […]

Environmental Agency Praises Danish Divestment from Burmese Teak

​​ RANGOON – An international environmental NGO, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), has said it welcomed the Danish authorities’ ruling banning Burmese teak from its markets. The decision was the second such move from Scandinavia, following a similar Swedish ruling last November. Danish authorities ruled on Monday, March 13 that injunctions be placed on all […]

Ban on Logging to Be Lifted Next Year

The temporary suspension of logging in Myanmar’s forested areas is set to be lifted in April, with production next financial year to resume at reduced levels, according to Myanma Timber Enterprise deputy director U Aye Cho Thaung. There are about 19,000 teak trees and 530,000 hardwood trees for potential logging next fiscal year, he said. […]

Myanmar’s forests face myriad problems as logging ban continues

YANGON – Myanmar’s forests are rich. They are rich in variety, in natural resources, and in wildlife. But they are also rich in danger. “Myanmar’s forests are more in crisis than ever before,” said Faith Doherty, lead forest campaigner at the UK-based Environmental Investigation Agency. “If you just look at what’s happened in the last […]

One-year logging ban proposed

A temporary ban on logging has been proposed to the government and is likely to be approved, according to Myanma Timber Enterprise managing director U Saw John Shwe Ba, though restrictions are not yet in place, as has been widely reported. Though U Saw John Shwe Ba told The Myanmar Times that a one-year ban […]

Myanmar bans lucrative logging in bid to preserve forests

Myanmar has banned lucrative logging operations as the newly-elected government of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi steps up a battle on deforestation, an environment official said on Thursday. Myanmar’s rich forests are among its most valuable natural resources, but they have been plundered by logging that helped fund the former military regime that ran […]

Hiatus in timber smuggling from Myanmar to China

Monitoring of key crossing points along the Myanmar-China border by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) reveals a sharp downturn in the volume of illegal timber being smuggled between the two countries during the past six months. In September 2015, EIA released the report Organised Chaos, which documented surging illicit trade in logs via the land […]

Kachin State Authorities Continue Illegal Timber Seizures, Myanmar Official Says

Kachin state government authorities in northern Myanmar seized more than 20,000 metric tons (22,046 U.S. tons) of illegal timber near the country’s border with China over the last five years, a high-ranking forestry official said Thursday. Aung Naing, Kachin state minister of forestry and mines, told RFA’s Myanmar Service that authorities confiscated nearly 10,600 metric […]

Govt rejects China’s request for timber-based industrial zone in Myanmar

The Myanmar government has rejected China’s requests to purchase timber in log form under a tender system and to build a timber-based industrial zone in Myanmar, said Khin Maung Yi, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry. Rumours have circulated recently about Myanmar signing an MoU with China to facilitate the […]