SBU reveals scheme of large-scale illegal export of Carpathian spruce in western Ukraine.

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has exposed a scheme for the export of logs illegally felled in Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions, the organizers of which have exported almost UAH 15 million worth of Carpathian spruce abroad during 2020-2021, the SBU press service reported on Thursday.

"According to the latest information, the scheme was organized by entrepreneurs from Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions. Every month, merchants sent 8-10 trucks with logs for export.

"The dealers used the mechanism of reusing logs consignment notes. A number of affiliated entrepreneurs bought up the used documentation and resold it for reuse. On the basis of these invoices, exporters legalized the illegally felled wood and received a certificate of wood origin, which was necessary for selling it abroad," the SBU said.

They said that SBU case officers detained two trucks with illegal cargo at the border.

"Law enforcement officers conducted 14 searches at the addresses of illegal production facilities and felling sites in Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi regions. Lumber with accompanying fake documents, round timber without appropriate documents, financial, economic and accounting papers proving the transaction were seized," the law enforcement officers said.

They said that the investigation of criminal proceedings on the grounds of committing crimes under Part 5 of Article 27, Part 2 of Article 209, Article 246, Parts 1, 3 of Article 358 (aiding in the legalization of criminally obtained property; illegal cutting or illegal transportation, storage, sale of forests; forgery of documents, stamps, seals or letterheads, and sale or use of forged documents) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine is under way.

Interfax-Ukraine

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