Spectacular seizure of illegally logged wood by Peruvian Customs

10 November 2017

A total of 55 40-foot containers stuffed with logs of wood, declared as wooden scantlings, sawn wood and/or commercial timber, were seized at the port of Callao, Peru in a coordinated action by the Port Control Unit established in the framework of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme and the Peruvian Customs and Tax administration (SUNAT) in late summer/early autumn. The overall quantity of the wood intercepted totalled 1,513 cubic metres, and involved six different exporters with China as the country of destination.

Jointly with other government institutions such as the National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) and the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Environmental Matters (FEMA), it was established that the shipments consisted of squared wooden logs, exportation of which is strictly forbidden.

According to open source information, FEMA has initiated an investigation into the origin of the seized wood, presumably belonging to the species “estoraque” (lat.: Liquidambar Styraciflua), that was apparently illegally logged in the forests of the province of Alto Amazonas in the Loreto region. FEMA suspects that the wood was being traded with false documents, according to its initial inquiries that are still ongoing.