Timber smuggling continues in Sagaing despite ban, virus

The number of illegal logs seized in the first nine months of the fiscal year shows that timber smuggling remains rampant in Sagaing Region despite the threat of COVID-19, the head of the regional Forest Department said. 

U Aung Tun Win, director of the department, said 7232 tonnes of timber were seized from October 2019 to June this year, almost the same as the 7747 tonnes in the same period of the previous year. 

“COVID-19 was expected to slow timber smuggling, but it still went on,” he said. 

The illegal timber seized included teak, pyinkado, thit yar, ingyin, padauk and ta ma lan. 

Regional officials said 643 tiimber smugglers were arrested and 223 trucks used in transporting the logs were impounded. 

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Khin Su Wai