The Forestry Commission has cautioned illegal loggers and truck owners to desist from acts of illegalities as the commission is poised to arrest and prosecute them.
The warning was given after the Commission’s Task Force recently confiscated 19 trucks loaded with illegal lumber.
Addressing the media in Accra, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Mr John Allotey said, “for the past two weeks we have realized that those doing illegal logging have stepped up their game so the forestry commission under its Chief Executive Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie tasked the forest workers of the Commission to mount special checks on trucks that are carrying wood and within a short period of about a week, we have arrested about 19 trucks all loaded with lumber some of them being chain sawn lumber, some of them carrying rose wood and other lumber in different shapes and forms.”
Mr Allotey added, “The message we want to send across is that the forestry commission is ready and it will arrest any and every truck that is loaded with illegal lumber. We have asked our workers on the field to be vigilant. We have sent message across that any lumber or log that they intend bringing on to the market illegally, they will be arrested.
“We also send message to the truck owners to also be careful not to rent their trucks to people who are involve in that because when we arrest the trucks, we are going to keep the impounded lumber on the trucks and keep the trucks as well and so they should be very careful who they hire their trucks to.
The deputy CEO explained that chain sawn lumber has its own shape and how they process it and that some officers of the Commission have been specially trained to identify illegal lumber. Additionally, he said, there are documentations which are supposed to come with the log and therefore if the documentations are not correct, then it means they are illegally logged.
Regarding the impounded lumber, Mr Allotey told the press, “We are going to prosecute all the people involved. We are not going to sell the lumber. We will make sure whoever is involved, benefits from their own wrong.
By Mohammed Suleman