Police in the central province of Quang Tri have found that a district’s chief forest ranger is the owner of more than 5.3 cubic meters of illegal wood seized last month.
A police source said officers on May 23 stopped a car carrying the illegal wood, which the driver said belonged to Bui Quang Linh, head of Vinh Linh District Forest Management Department.
Police found four more logs, also without legal stamps, at a local store a week later. A store security guard said he was keeping them for Linh.
Police estimated that the wood is worth nearly VND100 million (US$4,600).
Linh, 44, said he bought the wood from a stranger for a friend.
Illegal logging is responsible for around six percent loss of Vietnam’s total forest area, according to official figures a couple of years ago.
Government officials admitted at a meeting in April this year that the country has not been able to stop deforestation, which is either condoned or overlooked by the authorities.