Tun Lin Aung (Myitkyina)
MYITGYINA- Kachin State Government Committee informed China about seized timbers being smuggled into the China from Hsaultlaw and Chibwe Townships in northern Kachin State, according to the State Government Committee.
“According to a reliable tip off, it is true that timbers were being smuggled into the China. There are over 15 vehicles loaded with seized timbers. That’s why we informed the Yunnan Province Government Committee in China and inquired about the logs. Those seized timbers had been stamped so we don’t know how the smugglers passes through the toll gates. We heard that the vehicles carrying seized timbers always pass through at the Kham Pham toll gate because regulations are loose over there as it’s run by people’s militias. The government do not know where the militias are placed or how they are making a living. They aren’t confiscating the smuggled timbers. We already informed the authorities. The local MPs reported about construction of bridges, staff quarters, schools and offices by using seized logs to the Union. If the seized timbers were put up for tender, no one applies because there is no way of transport ,” said H La Aung, Minister of Resources and Environmental Conservation from Kachin State.
Dr Khat Aung, Kachin State Chief Minister said that he had instructed the military and militias to effectively ban the timber smuggling at the border areas and toll gates under the guidance of the President.
Likewise, Lar Mar Lay, MP from Chibwe Township complained to the President on May 22nd about taking effective actions against those who had smuggled the timbers before the Forestry Department in Hsaultlaw and Chibwe Townships took care of the seized, ownerless logs.
“Seized timbers were smuggled abroad[China] from my constituency Lanhse Village which suffered the flooding last year. The locals didn’t know about the timber smuggling. They informed MPs that they thought the logs were being carried under the supervision of the authorities. Photo records were taken on May 20th and a complaint was made to the President on May 22nd. There are about 50 vehicles carrying the seized timbers. We learnt that the vehicles left from Chibwe for China passing through Phimaw and Kamphan roads. Those confiscated timbers are definitely being smuggled and I believe that an organization is behind it all. We would like to urge the media to conduct field trips in our region to cover news on the regional situation,” said MP Khaw Mar Gu from No.2 Constituency of Hsaultlaw Township.
The complaint letter to the President reported that a total of 1,916 ownerless timber logs were seized in Hsaultlaw and Chibwe Townships. The Kachin State Government Committee had informed the Eternal Peace Group of Kachin Special Region-1 headquartered in Panwah, Puta-O Dragon Company and MPs from Hsaultlaw and Chibwe Townships about the use of seized timbers in the regional development efforts. Before May 25th date for handing over seized timbers, the Chinese smugglers stole away the seized timbers by using about 40 vehicles. That’s why government must take effectively actions against Chinese smuggling rings that smuggled or orchestrated the smuggling spree.
The smuggling of timber into China is continuing in Khaunglanphu Township, Puta-O district, Kachin State. In September and October of 2016, totaling 9,249 timber logs(7,043.884 tons) were seized in Khaunglanphu, say MPs.
As Tender Securitizing Committee from Kachin State put out to special tender for seized timbers on February 20th of 2017, Ah Lwan Taung Company won the tender with Ks 50 million.