Forest ranger arrested for allowing logging in central Vietnam

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Police in Binh Thuan Province in south central Vietnam Saturday said they have detained a forest ranger for allowing illegal logging and proccessing of illegal timber.

Phan Huu Phuoc, 39, head of a rangers' station at the La Nga Tanh Linh protective forest, had allowed the chopping of 25 precious trees providing more than 30 cubic meters of wood.

In early 2012, local police and forest management authorities also seized from the houses of Phuoc and his brother in law 5.6 cubic meters of Pyinkado (Xylia dolabriformis Benth), a kind of red hardwood, without legal documents of origin.

The police said Phuoc will be investigated for "being irresponsible and causing serious consequences," charges that carry the punishment of house arrest of up to three years or a jail term of between six months and five years, besides a suspension of between one and five years from his job.

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Investigators have said they would look for more people violating forest protection regulations in the province.

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