Mozambican authorities were forced to break down the gate of a wood worksite yard to remove 3700 cubic meters of wood sold in a public auction, but whose delivery was being refused by the former owner, an official source said on Monday, November 7.
“I confirm that we had to resort to a judicial authorization to be able to access the worksite,” broken into on Friday, where the wood was being held, Hermelinda Maquenze, director of the Provincial Environment Service in Sofala, told reporters.
It was about 3700 cubic meters of wood seized for illegal logging in 2021 and sold in a public auction.
The buyer tried to remove the wood, but the owner of the yard, a Chinese national who is on the run, did not allow it, according to local press reports.
Hermelinda Maquenze revealed that the authorities decided to break into the yard to enforce “the State’s decision. As the State and Government, our mission is to enforce [the law],” she underlined.
Several international and domestic reports have pointed to the depletion of forest resources in Mozambique, due to the rampant exploitation of wood for export, with China as the main destination.
Despite increasingly sharp action by the authorities against this practice, reports of frequent seizures of large quantities of illegally exported timber continue.