Park rangers seize 366kg of costly sua wood
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The Forest Management Agency of central Quang Binh Province yesterday announced that they have seized the first batch of the mysteriously expensive sua wood that was cut down in the province’s Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park.
A forest management officer measures one of the piece of sua wood seized Photo: Tuoi Tre
Earlier a group of 11 people had allegedly chopped down three sua trees, scientifically known as dalbergia tonkinensis, in an area named Hung Tri inside the national park.
These illegal loggers have reportedly hired locals at high prices to carry the aromatic and insect-resistant wood that is mysteriously sold for as much as millions of dong per kilogram out of the forest.
More than 360 kilograms of this wood, worth around VND10 billion (US$480,000), were detected by park rangers Tuesday.
“[Park rangers] found a group of people transporting the wood from the forest area in Phuc Trach Commune and concealing them under rocks,” said Pham Hong Thai, head of the forest protection agency.
“They fled immediately upon seeing the rangers.”
Nguyen Huu Hoai, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, granted gifts and bonuses to the park rangers who are monitoring the forest following the confiscation.
While hundreds of locals in Xuan Trach Commune, Bo Trach District have rushed to the forest to hunt for sua wood, it is still not known why the wood is so expensive.
“Sua wood is sold at prices higher than its real value,” Nguyen Hoang Nghia, head of the Vietnam Forestry Science Association, said in an interview with Tuoi Tre.
“My colleague, both Vietnamese and Chinese, and I have no idea why sua wood is so sought-after.”
“The wood has no value in terms of herbal medicine,” said Doan Van Thu, deputy head of the association.