Myanmar jails 153 Chinese illegal loggers for life | The Daily Star
03:51 PM, July 23, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:59 PM, July 23, 2015

Myanmar jails 153 Chinese illegal loggers for life

A court in northern Myanmar has sentenced 153 Chinese nationals to life in prison for illegal logging.

The group were arrested in January in Kachin state, close to the Chinese border, during a military operation to crack down on illegal logging.

Two 17-year-old boys were also given 10-year jail terms, and a woman in the group was given an additional 15 years for drug possession.

China has expressed concern about the severity of the sentences.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China had repeatedly raised the issue with Myanmar since the arrests of the group, who it says had been tricked into carrying out the logging.

It was asking Myanmar to "consider the actual situation of those loggers and deal with the matter in a lawful, reasonable and sensible way," China's Xinhua state news agency quoted Lu as saying.

Life sentences in Myanmar usually last 20 years.

Logging - often using working elephants - was rife under Myanmar's military junta, depleting much of Myanmar's forests.

The military-backed civilian government, which came to power in 2011, has been trying to rein in the industry, and last year banned the export of raw timber.

But critics say illegal loggers are often able to make deals with the warlords who operate in remote regions close to the border.

The Chinese group were arrested during an operation against illegal logging allegedly sanctioned by the Kachin Independent Army, an ethnic rebel group active in the area.

The rebels denied their involvement.

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star Android & iOS News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 22222

Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222


Banglalink:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News

Top