Illegal logging continues to plague Kayah State amid raft of bribery cases

Kayah (Karenni) State is struggling to curb illicit logging networks.

Trucks transporting illegally logged timber are passing through state inspection gates at night, The Kantarawaddy Times has learned.

Around 2am on April 22, The Kantarawaddy Times witnessed and took photos of logging trucks passing through inspection gates near the Hpruso central police station.

The truck was stopped temporarily in front of the inspection gate while a man from the vehicle went inside the gate. He reemerged about five minutes later, and the truck drove away.

Kayah State Minister of Natural Resources and Environment U T Yal admitted that illegal timber is still being smuggled daily through various methods and paths. He said the government has to make frequent arrests in an effort to try to curb the problem.

The President’s Office recently sent a directive to crackdown on reports of bribe taking by civil servants in the Bawlakhe township office.

“We have given a six-month warning to our staff. We have issued a warning letter instructing them not to repeat the act,” Bawlakhe township General Administrator U Win Aung said when he was asked about the bribery case.

Logging has been banned in Kayah State for the duration of this logging season. Over 600 tons of illegal timber was seized in Kayah State in the previous financial year.

Translated by Thida Linn
Edited by Laignee Barron