Authorities in Bac Kan Province in northern Vietnam have punished several forest rangers after investigations confirmed logging of precious wood at a national park, news website VietNamNet reported.
The statement, released by the province People's Committee on July 13, said it had held a meeting in late June and ordered that officials at the Ba Be National Park punish those responsible for rampant chopping of "nghien," a rare and endangered species (Burretiodendron hsienm) of flowering tree found only in Vietnam and China.
It said park officials have suspended two forest rangers, dismissed the deputy head of a forest ranger station, and transferred two station heads and nine other forest rangers.
On July 2, the Forest Management Department of Vietnam Administration of Forestry said in a statement that the logging had been going on for several months, with at least 114 trees, or nearly 660 cubic meters of the timber, stolen from the park.
Nguyen Xuan Cuong, secretary of Bac Kan Party unit, told VietNamNet on Saturday last week that the province is going to punish more people involved and that investigations might lead to higher-ranking officials.
The province's environment and economic police have been ordered to join in the investigation.
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