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 Call for “conflict timber” trader to return money
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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2013 :  07:59:05  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
For immediate release Thursday 10th October

Timber giant Dalhoff Larsen and Horneman caught importing more than $300,000 of illegal Liberian timber

Call for Danish “conflict timber” trader to return money to communities in Liberia

10th October 2013



Danish timber giant Dalhoff Larsen and Horneman (DLH) purchased illegal timber worth $304,870 from Liberia in 2012, Global Witness revealed today. One of the world's leading international timber and wood product wholesalers, the company previously bought conflict timber financing the government of recently convicted war criminal Charles Taylor during the country’s brutal civil war.

Global Witness’ investigations show that DLH purchased 1,281 m³ of timber from two Liberian companies in 2012, which was cut under logging contracts called Private Use Permits (PUPs) and exported to Bangladesh, China and France. PUPs have now been ruled illegal by the Liberian government, whose 2012 investigation into their use reported widespread fraud and corruption by companies and Liberian officials. In 2011, the UN Panel of Experts also stated that timber from PUPs could be used to finance conflict, and threatened the country’s fragile sustainability and anti-corruption efforts.

The revelations put DLH in breach of its certification from industry body the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), whose flagship conference on corporate social responsibility it is sponsoring in Copenhagen today. Under the scheme’s rules, companies may not be involved in illegal logging, human rights violations, or the destruction of valuable forests. Any further imports of illegal timber into Europe would also make the company liable to criminal sanctions under the EU’s new Timber Regulations, which came into force on 3 March 2013, and bans illegal timber imports, requiring companies importing timber into the region to carry out thorough checks to ensure that the timber was logged according to the producer country’s laws.

“DLH seems to have learned nothing from the past. It’s appalling that a company that helped finance vicious armed conflict ten years ago continues to do such damage to Liberia’s forests and people, especially whilst trading so heavily on its sustainability credentials in public,” said Alexandra Pardal of Global Witness. “In buying this illegal timber, DLH has helped steal valuable resources from one of the poorest countries in the world. Charles Taylor was a key beneficiary of DLH's dealings, and he’s just been brought to justice in the Hague - it’s about time DLH is also stopped and held to account for its actions.”

During the second civil war in Liberia from 2000-2003, DLH bought timber from Liberian companies that provided support to Charles Taylor's brutal regime. Evidence gathered by a group of NGOs including Global Witness, Greenpeace France and Amis de la Terre suggested that DLH knew where the timber was coming from, and who was benefiting from the sales, and yet it continued purchasing it. Although Taylor has now been convicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague for war crimes, including the use of natural resources to fund conflict, DLH has never been prosecuted for its own role.

“DLH must stop purchasing illegal timber from Liberia – there is no excuse for this. It has an office in Liberia and has been operating there for years, so it should have known that UN and NGO reports were widely available showing the serious risk that this timber was illegal,” said Pardal. “DLH should now give back to the Liberian rural communities $300,000, the value of the timber that was stolen from their forests.”
/ENDS

Contact

In Copenhagen, Alexandra Pardal at +44 (0)7921 788 897 or apardal@globalwitness.org
In London, Chloe Fussell at +44 (0)7790 464 596 or cfussell@globalwitness.org

Notes to editors

1. Global Witness has a background briefing available for journalists. For a copy, please contact apardal@globalwitness.org.
2. For further information on DLH’s purchases of conflict timber, see Global Witness’ report Bankrolling Brutality: Why European timber company DLH should be held to account for profiting from Liberian conflict timber, 2010.


A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone

toubab1020



9007 Posts

Posted - 11 Oct 2013 :  12:22:10  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message


" Any further imports of illegal timber into Europe would also make the company liable to criminal sanctions under the EU’s new Timber Regulations, which came into force on 3 March 2013, and bans illegal timber imports, requiring companies importing timber into the region to carry out thorough checks to ensure that the timber was logged according to the producer country’s laws."

I am not condoning what the company did>

The FACT is that this Danish Company broke no laws when they did these deals they "exploited" the laws of Liberia that applied then and did a business deal.
NOW it is illegal to obtain timber in this way.

“DLH must stop purchasing illegal timber from Liberia – there is no excuse for this. It has an office in Liberia and has been operating there for years, so it should have known that UN and NGO reports were widely available showing the serious risk that this timber was illegal,”

Morally wrong YES, wrong at the time,YES,against the laws of Liberia at that time No.

Should they make improvements NOW in the lives of the affected local communities,YES only right

Unsavory is the word for what the company did, Businesses are into making MONEY that is their function.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 11 Oct 2013 12:28:10
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Momodou



Denmark
8490 Posts

Posted - 29 Oct 2013 :  09:55:34  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message
Timber importer monitoring begins

Danish Radio and TV (DR): Published on 28. oct. 2013


The EU Timber Regulation makes it illegal to import and sell illegally harvested timber, but enforcement and sanctions vary among the member states.



From next month, the Danish Nature Agency will begin monitoring Danish timber importers to make sure that their products do not originate from illegally felled forests.

The monitoring is a follow-up to the EU Timber Regulation, which entered into force in March and makes it illegal to sell illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market.

In the first instance, the Danish Nature Agency will check whether Danish importers are able to document that their timber has been purchased legally.

“If they are unable to do so, we can issue an injunction against them or ban them from selling timber until they have demonstrated that their products are legal,” said Niels Bølling of the Danish Nature Agency.

Possible imprisonment

Initially, the Danish Nature Agency will be visiting 10 to 15 of the largest of the 5,400 Danish companies that import or trade in timber.

If the Danish Nature Agency suspects that a company is trading in illegal timber, it can take a sample to establish where the timber was harvested using DNA analysis. Persons knowingly trading in illegal timber could face a fine, seizure of their assets or, in the worst-case scenario, up to one year in prison..........

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A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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