Twelve imprisoned for chopping priceless Sua trees

The People’s Court in Bo Trach District in the north central province of Quang Binh on June 5 opened trial court for 12 of the accused for illegally logging three Sua trees in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

The 12 offenders aged 26-47 will receive 24-30 months prison-term each. They all come from Phuc Trach and Xuan Trach Communes in Bo Trach District of Quang Binh Province.

According to the indictment of the People’s Procuracy, the 12 offenders entered Hung Tri area in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in search of Sua timber on March 20, 2012.

One week later, one man named Minh discovered three Sua trees with two of these being dried. The first tree was of 70cm diameters, the second 30-35cm and the third 25-30cm.

Minh and 11 other men chopped down the three trees worth VND70 billion (US$3.33 million) and split them into 129 planks weighing 50-70 kilograms each. The planks were then hidden in a large hole under the ground. About 2,000 kilograms of wood from the tree branches was concealed in small caves in the forest.

The Sua tree logging incident caused damage to the biodiversity of the 700 square meter of core area of the National Park.

Besides prison sentences, the jury also required the 12 offenders to compensate for damages caused to the National Park and confiscated more than VND70 billion received from the sale of the precious timber.

By Minh Phong – Translated by Hai Mien

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