Police in Binh Duong province are investigating a major tourism company for timber trafficking.
A police source said they stopped a container truck driver employed by the Dai Nam Tourism Company on October 2 with more than nine cubic meters of the rare wood.
Dai Nam owns a 450-hectare tourism complex of the same name in Binh Duong, the country’s largest of its kind.
The VND6 trillion (US$280.85 million) complex has made eight national records since its opening, including the largest tourism complex, the largest artificial ocean and the largest artificial mountain in the country.
The timber did not contain stamps from forest rangers that certified it had been approved to be cut down.
The driver, Nguyen Thanh Hoang, produced papers showing the wood had been sold by Dai Nam, the officer said Wednesday.
Pham Dinh Khuong, the company's deputy general director, told Tuoi Tre newspaper on Thursday that they were "shocked” they had been placed under investigation.
Khuong said the company was only guilty of failing to attach certificate of origin papers to the consignment and failing to inform the local officials of the impending delivery.
Khuong said the company had purchased the wood to build a temple in its tourism complex.
The company didn't use all of the timber in the construction process.
The company's chairman, Huynh Uy Dung, said they decided to sell the remaining wood for around VND500 million.
Khuong said they did not know that they should attach all of the sale documents to the wood.
He said the company has sent a statement to the police and forest rangers to explain the situation.