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14 people prosecuted for deforestation in Vietnam’s Central Highlands

14 people prosecuted for deforestation in Vietnam’s Central Highlands

Saturday, August 21, 2021, 11:20 GMT+7
14 people prosecuted for deforestation in Vietnam’s Central Highlands
A tree is illegally cut down in a primary forest in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Vinh / Tuoi Tre

Police in Lam Dong Province, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands region, on Thursday initiated legal proceedings against 14 people, six of whom had been arrested, over their deforestation. 

Functional forces in Lam Ha District, Lam Dong had previously started closely monitoring a primary forest area in Phu Son Commune after discovering wood logs illegally cut down there.

At around 11:30 am on August 10, public security and forest protection officers of Lam Ha spotted five people clearing the road and pulling a winch to the top of a hill in the aforesaid forest area to transport the illegally logged wood.

Those people fled the scene when seeing the functional forces, but the officers managed to catch three of them. 

Wood logs are left behind by loggers in a primary forest in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Vinh / Tuoi Tre
Wood logs are left behind by loggers in a primary forest in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Vinh / Tuoi Tre

At the scene, the functional forces found out more than 37.5 cubic meters of wood of many kinds chopped down.

The forest area in question is located nearly 100 kilometers from the center of Lam Ha District and far from residential areas.

It takes one hour by both specialized vehicles and walking to reach the location.

Evidences show that the forest had been destroyed for a long time, said the officers.

The illegal loggers even sawed small trees to pave the way for their tractors.

A wood log is left behind by loggers in a primary forest in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Vinh / Tuoi Tre
A wood log is left behind by loggers in a primary forest in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam. Photo: Mai Vinh / Tuoi Tre

A group of traders in Da Lat may stand behind this deforestation case, hiring people living near the forest to illegally exploit wood, according to the authorities.

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