Maputo — The Cabo Delgado provincial attorney’s office, in northern Mozambique, has announced the recovery of a further three containers of timber that had been exported illegally to China from the port of the provincial capital, Pemba, according to a report carried by the independent television station, STV.
The three were among 76 containers stolen from the port in December 2020. Thanks to diplomatic contacts with China, 66 containers had already been returned.
“Today we received another three, so just seven are still missing”, said Noelia Madeira, a representative of the provincial attorney’s office. “They’ve been located and they should arrive in the country at any moment”.
The timber consists of unprocessed logs, and the export of unprocessed wood is banned. The timber was seized in August 2020 in the port of Pemba, and the first attempt to export it to China was foiled thanks to an anonymous tip-off.
However, the authorities then entrusted the timber for safe keeping to Feishang, the very company that was trying to export it.
The Attorney-General’s Office (PGR) is bringing criminal charges against Feishang and against nine individuals, including six officials of the Mozambican Tax Authority (AT) stationed at the International Maritime Terminal (TIMAR) in Pemba.
The PGR says there are strong signs that the accused committed the crimes of disobedience, abuse of trust, illegal exploitation of forestry resources, smuggling, falsification of documents, use of forged documents, and membership of a criminal association.