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Rangers, smugglers found guilty

Update: October, 15/2005 - 00:00

Rangers, smugglers found guilty

(15-10-2005)

BINH PHUOC — The People’s Court of the southern province of Binh Phuoc recently concluded a three-day trial concerning the largest case of illegal deforestation in the nation’s history.

The accused were members of six smuggling gangs and nine forest rangers. They were arrested for illegally felling 5,727cu.m of wood in the Bu Gia Map State-owned plantation. According to the provincial People’s Procuracy indictment, the forest rangers conspired with the smugglers to cut down old-growth forest stands in ten days from February 10 to 20, 2002. The timber was sold to illegal traders in Thac Mo township for billions of dong.

The Judgement Council imposed a total of 16 years of prison on 17 smugglers for violations of forestry regulations.

Nine forest rangers were sentenced to a total of 19 years of jail time for "negligence causing serious losses". Four vehicles and over VND1.5 billion in cash were confiscated during the inquiry, and subsequently turned over to the State budget. — VNS

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