Police in Dak Lak have arrested an official and a school principal, both recently sacked, for allegedly chopping down a vast area of forest in the Central Highlands province.
Tran Van Huy, 38, a commune Party official and Le Quy Sy, 44, principal of a primary school in M’Drak District, were dismissed after the case came to light.
Preliminary investigation found that Huy coveted a tract of land covered in acacia trees in the district adjacent to the forest and allegedly hired Sy to cut down the trees, paying him VND5 million (US$223) per hectare.
Sy hired men to strip more than 26 hectares of land of its trees.
Dak Lak park rangers estimate the total damage at around VND7 billion.
Police have also arrested several of the loggers hired by Sy and are looking for the others.