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State Confiscates 51 Containers of Rosewood   
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Government has taken possession of the fifty-one 20-foot containers of rosewood worth US$500,000 that was impounded at the Tema Port after it had been smuggled from the Brong Ahafo and Northern Regions of the country for export to India.

Deputy Lands and Forestry Minister, Barbara Serwaa Asamoah, told the B&FT that confiscation of the consignment is to reinforce the ban on harvesting and exporting rosewood in those areas that it was smuggled from.

President John Dramani Mahama, in a move to halt devastation of the fragile ecological zoneionthe Brong Ahafo and Northern Regions of the country, issued a presidential edict banning harvesting and export of rosewood in those areas and beyond.

“So far as they -- the perpetrators -- have infringed the President’s ban on exporting rosewood, it has been confiscated to the state; and the ban remains in force,” she told the B&FT.

The deputy minister in August last year led a team of journalists, officials of the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission (FC) -- led by its Chief Executive Dr. Ben Donkor, and a Chief Revenue Collector of Tema Customs, Kwesi Ahiakor, to open 51 containers of smuggled rosewood.

It is alleged that most of the containers were locked up in the affected area awaiting transportation to the port before the ban was issued.

Several other container-loads of rosewood are still believed to be in the affected area and other locations in the Tema Port area.

Rosewood costs US$600 per cubic metre whilst Papao is US$924 per cubic metre on the international market.
Source: B&FT

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