Enviros Accuse Malaysia of Enabling Illegal Timber Smuggling

The Environmental Investigation Agency and the Indonesian environmental group Telapak yesterday accused the Malaysian government of turning a blind eye to the widespread trafficking of timber illegally logged from Indonesia. According to an investigative report by the two groups, large quantities of the endangered tropical hardwood ramin are smuggled from Indonesia to Malaysia and made into furniture for export with falsified documentation. The illegal logging destroys the habitat of rare species such as orangutans, sumatran rhinos, and sun bears. The EIA and a number of U.S. environmental groups called on the U.S. government to impose sanctions against Malaysia because of the alleged smuggling. Malaysia vehemently denied the accusations.