Xieng Khuang authorities confiscate illegal timber
Xieng Khuang provincial authorities last week seized 61 pieces of illegally harvested timber, which was hidden inside a beer truck en route from Xieng Khuang to Vientiane.
Xieng Khuang police discover 61 pieces of rosewood hidden in a beer truck on Thursday.-- Photo by Noy Lathammavong
Head of the Forest Inspection Division of Xieng Khuang province, Mr Chanthanom Sisouphan, told Vientiane Times that officials from the Forest Inspection Division stopped a beer truck and during their inspection uncovered 61 pieces of rosewood being clandestinely transported to Vientiane.
Police believe that a gang of timber traders was responsible for the illegal shipment. Officials have fined the owner of the timber 39 million kip.
In other incidents, officials at the Naphao-Chalo border crossing between Khammuan province and Vietnam found 410 pieces of illegally harvested timber hidden inside a water tanker as it was preparing to enter Vietnam.
Head of the Naphao international checkpoint, Mr Phoumeuang Keochanla, said their haul included 242 pieces of mai dou (Macroca rpus) and 168 pieces of timber known locally as mai moon , which is also a valuable wood species.
Three Lao nationals were hired to transport the wood across the border to Vietnam.
It is believed that a group of Vietnamese hired labourers who were repairing a road at the border crossing to transport the wood and they obtained the water tanker to carry the timber into Vietnam.
The provincial inspection unit could not say where the wood came from as they had yet to receive a report about the incident.
The authorities are making an extra effort to clamp down on illegal logging following the order issued by Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in May last year, which banned the export of unfinished wood products.
Last month Khammuan province officials destroyed a large quantity of chainsaws that were thought to be used for illegal logging, demonstrating that the government is ramping up the management and inspection of illegal logging.
The police and authorities confiscated almost 1,000 chainsaws from villagers in Thakhaek district, and more from Khounkham and Xaybuathong districts.
According to initial data from a taskforce committee, more than 55,421 cubic metres of illegally felled wood has been impounded since the order was issued.
Also confiscated were a number of vehicles and equipment used for illegal logging, including 11 snigging trucks, a bulldozer, a log crane vehicle, and a Toyota Fortuner.
By Tims Reporters
(Latest Update January 16, 2017)