On 5 June, OCCRP carried an article saying that a recent probe by an international environmental watchdog has found that European companies are importing possibly illegal shipments of teak – a highly valuable wood much sought after for the building of luxury yachts. At least 6 companies registered in the EU have been exploiting a loophole in timber regulations to bring in wood from Myanmar. The companies named in the recent report are ABC Net in Slovenia, Crown Holdings in Belgium, HF in Italy, Houthandel Boogaerdt in the Netherlands, Vandecasteele Houtimport in Belgium and WOB Timber in Germany. It is claimed that, in order to avoid conducting due diligence checks themselves, the report alleges that these companies simply sought out a partner willing to import teak shipments on their behalf through a country (Croatia) where regulatory enforcement is weak.
The UN Environment Program believes that illegal logging accounts for between 15% and 30% of the worldwide trade in timber, rising to between 50% and 90% for wood sourced from tropical countries.
The report is at –
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