Mozambique: 13 Truckloads of Timber Seized

Maputo — The Mozambican authorities have seized 13 truckloads of timber from precious hardwoods at Dondo, in the central province of Sofala, reports Thursday’s issue of the independent daily “O Pais”.

11 of the trucks were carrying wood from the neighbouring province of Manica, one from Zambezia and the thirteenth from the Sofala interior.

According to Jose Ncuinda, of the Sofala Provincial Forestry and Wild Life department, the timber was seized due a number of irregularities, including the logging of trees smaller than the dimensions stipulated in Mozambican forestry legislation, and differences between the amount and specifications of the timber declared on the trucks’ documents, and the reality of the cargo discovered by the forestry inspectors.

The timber was to have been sold to processing companies in Beira, but the authorities will not release the wood until the truck owners have paid a fine of about a million meticais (144,000 US dollars, at current exchange rates).

About three weeks ago, 50 containers carrying logs were seized by the authorities, again in Dondo, thus aborting a plan to export the logs, unprocessed, to China.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique