illegal logging

Myanmar Frees 153 Chinese Loggers Sentenced to Life

MYANMAR -  Myanmar has freed 153 Chinese facing life sentences for illegal logging.  Their release was part of a larger presidential amnesty deal which freed close to 7,000 prisoners.Last week's sentencing strained the country's relation with neighboring China. News reports say a life sentence like that given to the 153 loggers, is typically equal to 20 years. An additional two Chinese loggers, both said to be minors, were given 10 years.

Illegal Logs - 2,000 Truck Loads Worth - Seized by INTERPOL

LYON, FRANCE - Some 194 people were arrested and timber valued at $8 million was seized in INTERPOL’s first international operation targeting large-scale illegal logging and forest crimes. Twelve Central and South American countries were included in Operation Lead, conducted by INTERPOL's Environmental Crime Program from mid-September through November last year. INTERPOL, the international police cooperation, said its agents confiscated more than 50,000 cubic meters of wood, equivalent to 2,000 truckloads of lumber and valued at approximately $8 million. INTERPOL's investigation included  Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. INTERPOL officials inspected and investigated transport vehicles, retail premises, and individuals, as well as surveillance and monitoring at ports and various transport centers. Of the 194 arrested, 118 were being investigated and several were subject to deportation from the country in which they were arrested. “Operation Lead marks the beginning of INTERPOL’s effort to assist its member countries to combat illegal logging and forestry crime, which affects not only the health, security and quality of life of local forest-dependent communities, but also causes significant costs to governments in terms of lost economic revenue,” said David Higgins, program manager of the Environmental Crime Program at INTERPOL. “This is an important goal for Project Leaf as a way to counter the illegal timber trade, currently estimated to be worth between $30 to $100 billion U.S. annually.” Davyth Stewart, INTERPOL Criminal Intelligence Officer and team leader of Project Leaf, said, "The intelligence gathered during this first phase of Operation Lead will be used as a foundation for more incisive actions against illegal logging to be taken by INTERPOL, in cooperation with its member countries."