Angolan police and forestry rangers in Namibe Province have seized a consignment of 1 880 hardwood logs being prepared for export to China without proper documentation.
In a statement, the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) police branch said the logs were harvested illegally in the Cuando Cubango Province.
The consignment was seized at a railway station in Namibe, where it was already packaged and due to be loaded on a freight train that would transport it to Atlantic Ocean ports for shipment to China without any permits. The raid by the CID and the Forest Development Institute (IDF) recovered over 540 cubic metres of logs.
On 31 January, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development banned all commercial logging and imposed a moratorium on the transportation of logs and other forms of sawn timber. The ban is meant to curtail widespread illegal logging of rare and slow-maturing hardwoods, especially rosewood, which is in exceptionally high demand in China.
The order authorised law enforcement agencies to confiscate the products, means of transportation and any equipment used by loggers who failed to comply with the order. Offenders risk being fined and jailed, and extra penalties, which may include a non-renewal of permits for a defined period of time, may be imposed.
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