Protected Panamanian tree species found illegally mined. 9 apprehended

Agriculture

More than 300 cocobolo tucas ( Dalbergia retusa) were seized at several sawmills in Cañitas, Chepo, east of the district of Panama, within the framework of operation “Sovereignty 3”, developed between intelligence agents of the Third Brigade of East Panama of the National Border Service (Senafront), in conjunction with the Environmental Crime Prosecutor’s Office.

The Senafront deputy commissioner, Reiniel Serrano, explained that the operation included three search and raid procedures in the sawmills that were dedicated to the purchase, storage and commercialization of protected wood, resulting in the arrest of nine foreigners of different nationalities.

“Of the foreigners, six will be placed under the orders of the National Immigration Service for not having their documents in order, two foreigners were apprehended on charges of environmental crimes and a third was found to be driving,” Serrano explained.

The cocobolo is a protected tree species and its felling in Panama is regulated by Resolution AG-0602-2014 of September 2, 2014, which establishes special provisions regarding the Dalbergia retusa species .

It is also an exquisite wood of great value in the Asian market, it is distributed in the Pacific region from the southwest of Mexico to Panama.

The species was included in Appendix II of the convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, considering the critical situation in which these species were found in the country.

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