Seven 12-wheeler trucks transporting illegal logs from Yangon were seized in Mon State on Saturday, according to Mawlamyine/Thaton District Forestry Department.
Saturday’s seizures took place in 3 different locations; one truck was seized in Paung Town, 3 trucks were seized in Mottama Town and other 3 trucks were seized at the toll gate of Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon State.
The confiscated logs are a type of the padauk [gum-kino] logs and are currently on the government’s banned hard-wood list. This is the largest number of illegal [gum-kino] logs to be seized in Mon State, according to U Myint Aung, deputy director of Mawlamyine/Thaton District Forestry Department.
“Last year, we seized over 100 tons of logs. However, they were not hard-wood. These seized logs are on the list of the government’s banned hard-wood. This time, it is the largest amount of illegal logs that we have confiscated and at a good market value,” said U Myint Aung.
The forestry department received information in advance that the logs carried by the 7 trucks would head to Mon State’s Mudon Town, where they would then be shipped abroad. With that information, the forestry department officials came to seize the illegal logs.
“They kept the logs under bags of plums. The padauk wood produces a certain smell. So, they covered them with plum bags to mask the smell. They also covered the truck with two layers of waterproof canvas. They tried to make it to look like a truck carrying cement [bags],” said U Myint Aung.
The seized padauk logs from the 7 trucks is up to 50 tons in weight. The forestry department also confiscated a smaller truck carrying 0.8 tons of padauk logs earlier this month [February] in Kyaikhto Town, Mon State.
Those who are connected to this illegal log seizure will face charges under article 3 of the public property protection law, and links to this case will be inquired and exposed in respective townships in Mon State, according to the Mon State’s Forestry Department.