Forest destruction in Romania: Large-scale raid against criminal network started

The anti-mafia prosecutor's office in Bucharest is finally taking action against the mafia structures of the Romanian timber industry. During a raid, sawmills were searched and several people were presented for questioning.

It is obvious that the massive logging in Romanian protected areas is not going according to plan. Now the authorities are responding. © Matthias Schickhofer

In the early morning of May 30, 2018, officials of the Romanian office DIICOT began a large-scale investigation against illegal practices in the wood industry in Romania. The press release speaks of a “destructive action by an organized criminal group specializing in offenses of misappropriation of public wood and also auctions, tax evasion, unfair competition, deforestation and other offenses.“

There is a “reasonable suspicion” that since 2011, several individuals have formed an organized criminal group whose members are abusing public auctions organized at the level of forestry departments in order to procure significant additional quantities of wood for processing in sawmills. Furthermore, there is reasonable suspicion that some of the processed wood comes from illegal wood sources. The estimated damage amounts to more than 25 million euros, according to DIICOT. The members of the organized criminal group also benefited from the support of some officials. A number of people will be brought to the DIICOT headquarters for questioning.

About 20 officials appeared on May 30 at the Holzindustrie Schweighofer factory in Sebes. According to the Austrian company, different premises by Holzindustrie Schweighofer throughout Romania are being examined. Apparently there are investigations against several companies and officials going on.

The concentrated intervention of the authorities has been expected in Romania for years. The current anti-mafia action takes place after a publicly-received Fact Finding mission by MEP Thomas Waitz and a protest by activists from Agent Green in the deforestation-affected Domogled National Park. (here you can see a video of the protest action) The visit of Thomas Waitz and representatives of EuroNatur and Agent Green revealed dramatic forest destruction in the heart of the National Park: precipitation of ancient beech forests, oversized and erosion-promoting forest roads or soil devastation by tractor paths in steep slopes.

Do you want to help?

Donation

Future needs nature. EuroNatur cares for it. Please use your possibilities to help. With your donation you will make an effective contribution to a more livable environment.

News

North Macedonia: No-go zones for hydropower projects must be designated

++ NGOs, government representatives, experts, hydropower developers and the local community discuss challenges and solutions at an international...

Thousands of white storks are the victims of illegal hunting

++ The migration season is now in full flow ++ Every year there are 25 million birds killed illegally, including thousands of white storks ++...

Photo competition 2019 enters the home straight

The countdown has started: March 31 is the deadline of the photo competition „European treasures of Nature 2019”.

375,386 citizens call for strong EU legislation to protect water

Over the past months, an alliance of numerous European environmental and nature conservation associations have promoted broad participation in a...

Balkan Rivers in the European Parliament

The Blue Heart team presented the Eco-Masterplan for Balkan Rivers in the European Parliament in Brussels at the event “Save the Balkan Rivers:...

Reintroduced cinereous vulture poisoned in Greece

Cinereous vulture Ostrava, previously released into the wild in Bulgaria, has been found dead in south-west Greece. It is very likely that the young...

Milestone bank summit in Belgrade for protecting Balkan rivers

++ More transparency needed in financing hydropower ++ Meeting of banks and activists a step towards protecting Balkan rivers ++

Albania fails to comply with Energy Community Law

++ NGOs file complaint against Albania ++ Hydropower projects on Vjosa river clearly breach Energy Community rules ++

Plans for hydropower plants on the Mura halted

Good news for the Mura: Slovenian Environment Minister Jure Leben has called a halt to the construction of all planned hydropower plants on the Mura...

Back to Freedom

At the beginning of February, our Greek partners at MOm released a young Mediterranean monk seal back into the Aegean Sea. Prior to that, they had...

The protection of the Ulcinj Salina is a precondition of Montenegro’s membership of the EU

++ The EU demands that Montenegro protect Ulcinj Salina ++ February 2nd is World Wetlands Day ++

Bat Count 2019

There are a lot of chilled out bats hanging around at the moment in the Frankfurt Ostquell Brewery: Bat conservationists are taking advantage of the...

Counter shows forest destruction of Romanian virgin forests in real time

++ Romanian EU Presidency 2019: Eyes on Romania - and the virgin forest destruction ++ EuroNatur and Agent Green call on Romania and EU to turn...

On a voyage of discovery in Europe's nature

International photo competition “Europe’s Natural Treasures 2019” is starting

Poisoning threatens Vulture Populations in the Balkans

In the last twenty years at least 465 vultures in the Balkans have fallen victim to poisoning. This is the alarming conclusion of a study which has...

By using our services, you agree that we use cookies. Data protection