The investigation discovered at least 112 shipments of protected cedar and mahogany were illegally laundered with fabricated papers and imported by US companies between 2008 and 2010.
The shipments accounted for more than 35 percent of all trade in these protected species between US and Peru. During this period, Peru’s primary exporter, Maderera Bozovich, exported cargo under 152 protected permits, at least 45 per cent of which is believed to include illegally logged wood.
Typically, forest owners include “fictitious trees” in their logging concessions, in their annual harvest plans to get official permits (called GTS), which are then sold on the black market to be used to launder illegally logged wood. Complicit authorities approve these practices, sometimes financed by “timber barons” connected to organised crime.
Bozovich USA rejected the EIA’s accusation.
Illegal logging comes with massive human, environmental and economic costs. The loggers often work under abysmal and exploitative conditions.
In 2011, the government and industry of Loreto, Peru’s largest region, estimated that illegal logging was causing the country annual losses greater than US$250 million dollars. Worldwide, total receipts from illegal logging run between US$10 and US$15 billion dollars a year.