As many as 380 tonnes of illegal teak from Myanmar, worth between 4 and 6 million euros, were seized by officials from Italy's Trieste Customs Agency and Monopolies and by the forest agents, following a report from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), the Italian media reported.
This is for the first time in Italy when the crime of placing and marketing in the European Union of tropical timber obtained in violation of the laws of the countries of origin is seized by the authorities.
The discovery fraud consisted in the addition of quantities, comprised between 10 and 20% of timber of illegal origin, raw or planked, in the legal matches coming from the port of Yangoon, Myanmar. The wood, after some triangulations via China and Malaysia, was then stationed in the free port of Trieste under the "foreign state" regime, waiting to be imported into Italy and Europe in individual matches, making traceability difficult.
Teak from Myanmar (Tectona grandis) is one of the finest wood in the world as it is used for the manufacture of flooring for yacht covers, outdoor furniture and swimming pools. Its value ranges between 5,000 and 20,000 euros per ton, based on choice and cutting.