Viet Nam News
QUẢNG NAM — The central Quảng Nam Province People’s Committee on Monday awarded VNĐ20 million (US$880) to officials who investigated the destruction of the pơ mu forest in Nam Giang District.
Đinh Văn Thu, Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, praised the investigating team for tracking down those who had destroyed the forest and asked the provincial police to conduct further investigations to see if some officials had been involved.
In July this year, local residents informed the provincial police that several people had destroyed the pơ mu forest in La Dêê Commune.
Nam Giang District Police, in co-ordination with the Nam Sông Bung Protective Forest Management Board, surveyed the area at the Việt Nam-Laos border and confiscated more than 31cu.m. of pơ mu trees.
The district police also confiscated more than 47cu.m. of timber.
On July 28, Quảng Nam Police inspected the area and found 60 pơ mu trees had been cut down with a total volume of more than 115cu.m. A total of 41 trees were in Vietnamese territory, with the remaining 19 in Laos.
Quảng Nam People’s Committee then hed a joint meeting between leaders of the province and Laos’ Sekong Province to co-ordinate an investigation.
Police estimated that the 60 pơ mu trees were worth more than VNĐ18-24 billion ($800,000 to $1.1million). They said evidence showed that it was a well organised criminal wood smuggling ring.
Police adetained five people in connection with the case - Nguyễn Văn Thắng, 38, Nguyễn Văn Sanh, 34, Lê Trọng Dương, 48, Nguyễn Văn Quang, 34 and Tiêu Hồng Tư, 49.
Four of their accomplices gave themselves up to the police including Mai Văn Cường, Mai Văn Châu, Phạm Văn Bồng and Lê Hồng Diêu. — VNS