Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

VietNamNet Bridge – Forest rangers, the ones assigned the duty of protecting the
forests, have been found as lending a hand to illegal lumberjacks to smuggle
wood.

Vietnam, forest ranger, protection, policies, forest fire

Forest rangers sell sua tree at VND600 million

A sua tree at the Cuc Phuong National Park has been sold at VND600 million by
the local forest rangers.

The sale of an old precious tree at the national park raised controversy. The
Cuc Phuong commune people’s committee did not agree on the sale, requesting the
local foreign ranger unit to stop the sale agreed before with the Vinh Phuong
restaurant, the buyer.

However, Vinh Phuong won the case by force. Some 10 strong men were sent to the
national park, who said they needed to bring the tree away as previously agreed.
They threatened that they would chop down the tree, because the local forest
ranger unit had received the deposit money of VND20 million.

The local forest ranger unit had to make a compromise, selling the sua tree at
VND600 million. However, the tree has not been used by Vinh Phuong. It has
changed many hands so far, while the price of the tree has been escalating.

Forest rangers smuggled wood, 10 people died

In December 2011, a truck carrying smuggled wood got an accident in Con Cuong
district in Nghe An province, which then killed 10 people and injured another
four. All the victims were the poor people in Quy Hop who worked as hired
porters.

The noteworthy thing was that a lot of high ranking officials of the local
forest ranger unit got involved in the case. These included Trinh Thanh Long,
Deputy Director of the Pu Huong Sanctuary and Head of the local forest ranger
unit. The others were all high ranking officials of the forest ranger units.

The investigation agency found out that Long bought 13 cubic meters of wood from
some people in Xieng My commune and then carried the wood away for sale.

Nghe An has been well known as the “hot spot” in the country, where a lot of
forest areas are devastated every year, and tens of wood smuggling cases are
found, where the investigation agency discovered the “cooperation” of the
state’s officials.

Forest rangers’ trucks carry smuggled wood

In late 2009, a truck of the Phong Nha National Park was caught red handed as
carrying 0.4 cubic meter of ebony, the kind of precious wood listed in the group
1, i.e. the exploitation is prohibited.

The truck driver was Nguyen Anh Tuan, an officer of the Phong Nha forest ranger
unit. Meanwhile, the truck once belonged to an international organization which
later was handed over to the Phong Nha forest ranger unit.

In 2012, local newspapers reported that 11 people were found as chopping down
three sua trees in the Phong Nha national park in Quang Binh province. At the
time when the illegal lumberjacks “took actions,” seven forest rangers and one
forest ranger unit’s head were not on the duty. The abnormal absence of the
forest rangers then created favorable conditions for the lumberjacks to carry
the precious wood out of the forest.

Most recently, Nguyen Huu Tri, Deputy Head of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang forest
ranger unit, together with his younger brother Nguyen Thanh Tri, deputy head of
the forest ranger unit No. 37 appropriated sua wood from illegal lumberjacks
when they were inspecting the site.

Bao Han

By vivian