Investigation finds Russian loggers ‘laundering’ illegal timber

A three-year investigation by the Environmental Investigation Agency, or EIA, a U.S.-based advocacy group, has revealed an illegal network. Loggers, connected with Russia’s large organized crime network is operating out of a temperate forest in Russia’s far east region to sell stolen old-growth lumber to Chinese manufacturers for export around the world.

Eighty percent of the lumber exported from the region is illegal. In addition to the destruction wreaked upon by the environment, the illegal operation is harming the livelihoods of local people who rely on the forest. The logging is also endangering the habitat for the 450 remaining Siberian tigers.

“Liquidating the Forests: Hardwood Flooring, Organized Crime and the World’s Last Siberian Tigers” released by the EIA this week tells of how rampant illegal logging in the world’s last region of temperate old-growth hardwood consumer demand for hardwood flooring end up complicit in forest destruction.


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