Six firms under probe for origins of wood exports
The Department of Investigation and Anti-Smuggling under the General Department of Vietnam Customs is collaborating with relevant agencies to investigate violations of rules of origin and suspicious business operations by six domestic wood processors, sources said.
The department, on July 19, said that it and other agencies began a probe into wood production and export operations of the six firms, as their wood volume for export has soared abnormally, the local media reported.
The firms under investigation have headquarters in Hanoi City, Hung Yen, Nam Dinh, Lang Son and Phu Tho provinces.
A representative of the Department of Investigation and Anti-Smuggling said that within a short time, these firms produced and shipped very large volumes of plywood and laminated wood, valued at hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong.
From the beginning of 2018 to late March, VT Trading Company, located in Hanoi City, exported over 27,000 cubic meters of plywood products and sheets of plywood worth more than VND405 billion, whereas AA JSC in the northern province of Nam Dinh produced and sold 5,700 cubic meters of wood products to VT Company for export through March this year.
The customs agency had earlier found the six firms to have been involved in frauds related to certificates of origin (C/O).
Vu Quang Toan, head of the Northern Region's Anti-Smuggling Control Team under the department, said these firms have admitted that they had not bought wood materials from timber farming households, as written in contracts, but had used fake contracts that falsified material sales and purchases. They further admitted that their land use right certificates used for application for C/O were also falsified.
Some enterprises imported veneers from China to produce plywood for export, but failed to declare in the documents of application for C/O, Toan said.
Besides this, the department found signs of improper management of the confirmation of forest product dossiers. The governments of some communes failed to check documents and had not launched on-site inspections of the exploitation of forest products before approving dossiers of forest products, according to Toan.
Toan added that timber farmland lots on the lists of forest products on many dossiers of forest products were found to have been falsified.