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Feb 7, 2013

Illegally harvested Zericote shipment found

The Ministry of Forestry has been clamping on the illegal but lucrative harvesting and exportation of rosewood. But despite a moratorium in place since last year, the illegal activities have continued at a brisk pace and containers of the precious wood have been seized in the south, at the western border and adjacent to the customs department in Belize City. Minister Lisel Alamilla has said that there is corruption in the Ministry and in fact a forest ranger, Charles Rivas, has been transferred from post in the south because of his alleged involvement. This morning, both Alamilla and the Chief Forestry Officer gave the media an update first on the container that was suspected to be rosewood but turned out to be Zericote which is also illegal to harvest.

 

Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry

Lisel Alamilla

“The rose wood is being held at the Forest’s Department compound in Belmopan and as far as I’m aware the department has contacted the D.P.P. on how to proceed to take legal action. How we will proceed with legal action. Yes it is, we have security twenty-four-seven.”

 

Wilbur Sabido

Wilbur Sabido, Chief Forest Officer

“Well there are two cases that we are dealing with related to containers. One has to do with the report we had gotten in December where we suspected that the container contained rosewood, however, when we did the inspection it wasn’t rosewood. It was a mixture of grenadio, Zericote and couple other timber species. Now the situation with that particular container is that the exporter had reported that they wanted to export only grenadio, however, when we opened the container, and we found Zericote in round or log form; that is against the law essentially. Zericote is a protected species; it can only be exported as a value added product. So, in that particular instance we seized the produce from the container. The exporter is a known exporter to us, goes by the name of Anita Lou based originally out of Roaring Creek and now operating out of Orange Walk.”

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3 Responses for “Illegally harvested Zericote shipment found”

  1. Lucas says:

    Why transferred?. WHY NOT TERMINATED?.

  2. Rod says:

    Lock them up for life this is total corruption going on in this gov give them life sentencing this whole gov need to be locked up from the pm down

  3. Bear says:

    An Orange Walk business committed this crime, too? Gapi must know something about it . . .

    Corruption in the forestry department? Lock him up, don’t transfer him!

    We need a law that requires a prison sentence of 10 years for every tree cut illegally, and for everyone involved, from the logger to the trucker to the exporter to the man who controls the bank accounts where the money ends up.

    Mayans, patrol your forests, and you can arrest illegal loggers yourselves. It’s the law.

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