Vietnam’s border guards suspended following precious wood logging near Laos

By Tien Hung   July 22, 2016 | 07:12 am GMT+7
Vietnam’s border guards suspended following precious wood logging near Laos
Pomu logs are found only 15 meters from a border guard station. Photo by VnExpress/H.T

At least 60 precious pomu trees near the border with Laos have been cut down.

Vietnam’s Border Guard High Command has suspended three officers allegedly involved in a serious logging incident in the central province of Quang Nam that has prompted Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to step in.

The suspension came after a pomu forest near the border with Laos, which falls under their control, was found logged earlier this month, general Nguyen Tien Thang, a senior official with the Vietnam’s Border Guard High Command, said Thursday.

A team from the high command has already been sent to Quang Nam to coordinate the investigation, Thang said.

Pomu is the Vietnamese name for Fujian cypress trees (Fokienia hodginsii), known for their precious timber.

Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had ordered an investigation into the logging. The Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of National Defense and Quang Nam Province were asked to oversee the investigation.

Around 400 pomu logs were discovered by police and locals in the areas under the management of the local border guard station earlier this month. At least 60 pomu trees near the border with Laos have been cut down.

Le Trung Thinh, head of customs unit in Nam Giang Border Gate in Quang Nam, has also been suspended for suspected involvement in the incident.

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