Maputo — Mozambique's National Agency for Environmental Quality Control (AQUA) and the National Inspectorate of Economic Activities (INAE) have jointly dismantled a timber yard which was unlawfully exploiting wood in the administrative post of Muxungue, in the central province of Sofala, according to a report in Monday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias".
Morgado Mussengue, the AQUA delegate in Sofala, said the yard belongs to Cam International, a Chinese company, which, since 2013, has been purchasing and trading forestry products without any licence.
The company logged legally protected species of tree. Mussengue said preliminary data indicated the company was in possession of 6,163 cubic metres of timber, logged in the district of Machaze in the neighbouring province of Manica.
INAE official Gabriel Raul said the joint team will remain on the site indefinitely. He said Cam International has no authorization to operate in Muxungue. It is allowed to operate only in Beira, and only for the sale of wood from exotic species such as pine and eucalyptus, and not native hardwoods.
The multisector team also added that punitive measures will be taken against the illegal firm in order to safeguard the interests of the State.
The firm's representative, Adriano Bungamano, declined to comment claiming that it is too early and the company would address the matter after the joint team has concluded its work. But he confirmed the existence of a permit authorizing the activities in Beira, but not for purchase and trading in Muxungue. He added that the firm also conducts similar activities in Dondo district.