The government of Jubek state has seized three trucks that were trying to smuggle teak to Uganda, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has said.
The seizure was displayed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for the media in Juba earlier on Monday.
According to the minister of agriculture and forestry – Stephen Wani – the trucks were intercepted by the state security in Liria area on Sunday.
The minister said illegal logging in the state is a crime.
“It is a national crime, it is not only a crime against one state because when you destroy forest that has last for more than one hundred and fifty years or two hundred years,” he said.
Mr. Wani said that the owner of the logs have committed a crime against the state and must be held accountable.
“Its mean crime against the country because this forest is life and everything, as of today these trucks with these logs will remain here until the law takes its cost.”
“The trucks are involved in crime, we need to know who is the owner of these trucks, and even what that agreement, because, without these trucks, these logs cannot go to Uganda,” Wani added.
The United Nations Environment Program or UNEP estimated in 2007 that the teak if sustainably harvested, could generate up to $50 million a year in export revenue for South Sudan.
But according to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, teak exports currently bring the country only about $1 million to $2 million a year due to illegal logging.