Builsa South Lawmaker, Dr Clement Apaak has said that persons continue to engage in illegal harvest, transport and export of rosewood because they know nothing will happen to them when they are caught.
In order to nip this menace in the bud, he said, arrested persons must be punished severely to deter others from engaging in the same act.
Five containers of rosewood meant for export were recently impounded at the Tema Port.
The containers were impounded on 17th June 2021 after officials of the Energy Commission raised suspicion they possibly contained illegal charcoal.
A statement he issued Dr Apaak on Thursday August 26 called on the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Samuel Abu Jinapor to show leadership and ensure that these persons who were arrested are made to face the law.
“The illegal harvesting, transport and export of rosewood continues despite an outright ban because the criminals violating the ban and engaged in this criminal act have no fear. They know when found out or arrested they will walk away free.
“The rosewood thieves know no serious investigation will be conducted when their loot is impounded because the beneficiaries in officialdom, and or are connected to political power, will intervene. This is why since the ban and so-called reinforced bans, including a recent total ban of export of rosewood, the illegal logging and transportation and export is still continuing.
“We are still waiting to see what will happen to the owners of the 5 containers impounded at the Tema port in June. So far no arrest occurred though the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources told Parliament the owners were uncovered. We are in August folks, not even an arrest. So what are the chances that anything will happen in the case of the impounded rosewood at Diare in the Savlugu District on August 12th.
“The current Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Abu Jinapor, must show that it’s not business as usual. His reputation is on the line. If Ghanaians don’t see arrests and prosecutions of those breaking the law by harvesting, transporting and exporting or attempting to export rosewood, then it would be clear as always, the official complicity is to blame.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana