Vietnam district Party chief found in illegal possession of timber

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The Party unit in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Ngai Tuesday sought clarifications from authorities after a large quantity of valuable timber was found at the house of a district Party secretary.

It has asked the Son Tay District Party unit, the provincial military command, and the Forest Protection Department for reports, news website VnExpress reported.

Nguyen Tan Guong, deputy head of the forest department, was quoted the same day as saying the timber was indeed found in the possession of Dinh Ka De, the Son Tay unit secretary.

"There were two large pieces in his house, and four others hidden at the Son Tay District military agency," he said.

The logs found in the house were from "doi" (Talauma) trees and measured 3.2 meters long, one meter wide and 19 centimeters thick.

A driver named Tran Van Tam had reportedly carried the timber from a protective forest to De's house two weeks ago.

The rangers are questioning Tam to get more information.

"No matter who it is and in whatever position, damaging protected forests has to be severely punished," Guong said.

De told VnExpress Monday that the chairman of Son Lap Commune, which manages the forest, had allowed him to possess the two logs.

He said the other four logs were to be granted to Nguyen Tan Tien and Doan Thanh Binh, officials from the district Military Command.

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