Primary forest cleared illegally in Vietnam

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Police inspect logs at a site of Thanh Chi Company in Lam Dong Province. Photo credit: Son Binh/Tuoi Tre Police inspect logs at a site of Thanh Chi Company in Lam Dong Province. Photo credit: Son Binh/Tuoi Tre

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Environment police Sunday discovered that a company in Lam Dong Province had illegally logged a vast area of natural forest.
Nearly 40 hectares in Bao Lam District had been cleared by the local Thanh Chi Company, and the police found hundreds of logs piled up, Captain Nguyen Van Dat of Environment Police Department said.
Thanh Chi had been contracted to clear the forest by the forest manager, Loc Bac Forestry Company.
But investigators said Loc Bac did not have a valid environment impact assessment report before felling the trees.
Dat said Thanh Chi’s violations were egregious because it had logged protected primary forests.
The company’s director, Tran Sach Doan, admitted to the wrongdoing, saying they wanted to clear the forest to plant rubber trees.
Police are investigating.
Earlier, on July 8, police had arrested 15 illegal loggers in a nearby protected forest. They had allegedly been operating for around two years.
Authorities have stepped up action against illegal logging after Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last month ordered a total ban on clearing natural forests to protect the 2.25 million hectares still surviving nationwide.

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