Those “Yakuza” who are destroying the Gabonese forest

by Luc Mathot
Those “Yakuza” who are destroying the Gabonese forest

Wood auction sales are at the center of a controversy in the Woleu -Ntem province involving the Water and Forests ministry and some individuals who are providers for bidding companies. In particular the sale of 22 February 2014 conducted by the Provincial Directorate of Waters and Forests.

The freshly cut Kévazingo discovered on siteFollowing a complaint against X drawn by the company Tropical Timber Industry Board ( TTIB ) Ms. Andeme Bibiche , provider of Chinese society GAHUDI was arrested on April 23rd, 2014 by the Directorate General for Research of the gendarmerie.

According to the company , Ms. Andeme Bibiche had ordered the illegal logging in their forest belonging license. This wood was then auctioned by the Water and Forests February 22 .

It should be noted that Ms. Bibiche, who has been the subject of a recent conviction for illegal logging, is among those who are commonly called ” Yakouza ” refering to their illegal logging activity. They illegally cut wood in forest concessions or permits to sell off to their contractors claiming that it’s abandoned wood, when inreality, they are freshly cut down. These “providers”, among whom, Nkoulou Serge Patrick, Nkoulou Emmanuel, Ndoutoume Essonne Abel and Andeme Bibiche are mostly authors of illegal logging.

Bulldozer used illegallyTo prove that the wood auctioned belonged to TTIB, a team visited the village Oveng on April 30th, to find the illegal exploitation in question. A few meters from the village, following the indications of the prospector, a bulldozer and a dozen freshly cut Kévazingos not hammered were identified.

By law, if the wood cut belongs to TTIB’s license, the company is entitled to prosecute if it is proved that the freshly cut wood by was done so by Ms. Andeme Bibiche and accomplices.