Police in Suriname seized timber in 100 containers at Paramaribo Port on April 17th. The timber was presumed to be illegal.
According to an official government statement, the police initiated a transfer of the containers out of the Port so that a comprehensive investigation could be conducted.
Various accounts of the incident have been reported, including claims of corruption and the alleged involvement of officials in the timber’s attempted export. According to Culturu, at least four customs officials were arrested, along with three forest rangers employed by the Foundation for Forest Management and Supervision (SBB).
The president of Suriname reportedly claimed that the smuggling route had been known about for a decade.
Illegal logging in Suriname
Suriname is one of the most forested countries in the world.
Despite the relatively low frequency of reported forest law enforcement events in Suriname, the director of the SBB Stanley Betterson suggests that illegal logging in the country may account for 50 percent of logging.
A “Task Force” has been established under his rule which performs “double checking” in the sector.
According to Betterson, tens of thousands of illegal logs have been discovered at various log yards, totaling an estimated 100,000 cubic meters. Considering 20 cubic meters of logs per truck, that’s about 5,000 truckloads of timber.
This is a developing story. Last updated May 21, 2021 11:53am EST.
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