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The Rosewood Racket: China's billion dollar illegal timber trade and the devastation of Nigeria's forests

9 Nov 2017

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Logs in Nigeria: EIA investigation Rosewood Trade China and Nigeria

One of the largest timber smuggling operations in history is revealed today by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in a report that shows how over 1.4 million illegal rosewood logs from Nigeria, worth US$300 million, were laundered into China. Multiple independent sources told EIA undercover investigators that over US$1 million was paid to top Nigerian officials to release the wood stopped by Chinese authorities.

The results of a two-year investigation by EIA, 'The Rosewood Racket' details the journey of illegal African rosewood, also known as “kosso,” from the remote forests of Nigeria beset by illegal logging to luxury furniture boutiques in China, despite protections placed on this threatened tree species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).