Amazonian logging gang busted

Wednesday 30 November 2005

-- Brazilian police recently arrested a gang of 35 people who forged thousands of logging permits and sold them to transport millions of dollars worth of hardwood timber in the Amazon. This operation is the fifth such operation since 2003.

Brazil's government claims that checks on illegal logging and tighter law enforcement has slowed deforestation in the Amazon by half this year. Though environmentalists say much of this deforestation was due to a slump in farming. Brazil's environment minister advocates controlled use of the forest rather than banning logging outright. He said selective cutting should be done in a legal and organised fashion.

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