Forest and Wildlife Law Enforcement in Central Africa

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Gabon: Illegal logging and traffic of Kevazingos in Oyem

Following information received about illegal logging of Kevazingos in the village THO EFFACK (Oyem , Nye county), the Provincial Directorate of Water and Forests had commissioned a team on the ground accompanied by two members of the police to apprehend the loggers.
Abatage illégal et trafic de Kévazingo à Oyem
Illegal loggersAt the scene, they found a Kevazingo was being cut down, the cutters and their boss Mr. Minko had suddenly stopped and left. Later, Mr. Minko was arrested while holding a meeting with the head of reunification with the villagers and some of his employees. Offenders were brought to the Provincial Directorate of Water and Forests where they confessed having already cut down another Kevazingo at the request of Mr.

ABAGA MVE Leon, “owner” of the Kevazingo confessed that it was he who gave the order to cut down the tree at the request of Mr. Minko. He actually wanted to complete the cut already initiated by a Cameroonian named Enam Mbira then resell it to the SNBG with whom he has a “seller provider” contract.

Despite the facts and evidence of infringements, prosecutors in Oyem decided to relax them. According to them, the facts were not sufficient to restrain Mr Minko and his accomplices in the bonds of prevention, despite the testimony of the populations and the confessions of Mr Abaga Mvé Leon.

It goes without saying that the illegal exploitation of kevazingos is still in full swing in the country, and nobody seems to be able to stop this illegal logging, which is done  with various accomplices. In addition, the auction system and salvage of supposedly abandoned timber facilitates illegal logging. Indeed, illegal loggers cut the timber, and then pretext that this wood is to be auctioned. In addition, the timber was sold at very low prices , and payments to the Treasury were derisory. The state losses are enormous and it is unfair and demotivating competition for law -abiding operators .
A strict application of the law by the different administrations seems essential , even if things seem often stained irregularities as traffic of kevazingos continues and that offenders are released.

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