Four Charged With Timber Smuggling

By Htun Htun 27 January 2017

RANGOON — Rangoon police opened a case against four people in connection with the smuggling of some 200 tons of timber on Tuesday, while the government’s forestry department also plans to carry out an internal investigation.

Acting on a tip-off, the forestry department seized over 30 tons of smuggled teak from two containers in Myanmar Industrial Port (MIP).

Further investigations led to the seizure of some 170 tons of smuggled Gum-Kino—locally known as padauk—in 11 containers two days later, according to Ahlon Township Police Station.

“We have opened a case at Ahlon police station,” said U Win Than, staff officer of forestry department headquarters.

“We’ll also investigate customs agents and, if necessary, we will investigate departmental personnel—I can’t say exactly because the case is still under investigation,” he added.

Police have charged the four—managing director of Myanmar Bee & Timber Trading Co. Ltd. U Naing Min Soe, customs agent U Akar Bo, export/import documentation agent Ma Khin Chaw Myint and U Win Kyaing—under forestry law.

Local media reported that U Win Kyaing is at large and the three others are in police custody.

The smuggled timber has been moved from MIP to a government-operated timber wharf in Insein Township. Further investigations are ongoing.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.