BAC NINH, VIETNAM - More than 100 police officers descended on the offices of timber trader Dai An Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary, wood components manufacturer/exporter Thanh Hung Bac Ninh Co. Ltd., arresting the companies' two directors along with seven accomplices.

Among those arrested for extortion and other crimes in the Aug. 13 raid were Dai An Director Nguyen Ngoc Minh and Thanh Hung Bac Ninh Director Nguyen Thanh Hung.

According to the Tuoi Tre newspaper, the men used the woodworking firms to conceal the actions of a major criminal gang. The raid yielded guns, a grenade, plus other items related to criminal offenses. Police told the Tuoi Tre newspaper that they are also looking at possible charges relating to smuggling and drug trafficking.

A dozen local forest rangers also were dispersed to the scene to check for smuggled and protected wood at the buildings. They left with an undisclosed amount of "evidence," reported the Thanh Nien News.

Dai An's director, Nguyen Ngoc Minh, established the company in 2000. In 2012, Dai An held 70 to 80 percent of the forest management and processing market in the area, according to a Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry article that lauded Minh. Dai An had also received praise from local authorities for its business practices, while its founder and director had been awarded by both the president and prime minister for good labor practices, according to the Thanh Nien News.

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