Foresters accused of deforestation under the guise of firefighting in Chernihiv region shutterstock

Foresters accused of deforestation under the guise of firefighting in Chernihiv region

Katerina Belousova

Perpetrators face up to 7 years in prison

In Chernihiv region, forestry officials from the Nizhyn district have been notified of suspicion of illegal logging worth 6.5 million hryvnias, which was carried out under the guise of sanitary measures.

Trees were destroyed on an area of about 9 hectares, next to which a large-scale fire broke out, according to the police of Chernihiv region.

It is noted that the head of the forestry involved two subordinate lower-level managers in the felling.

"The extras cynically took advantage of a large fire in the area: the fire destroyed more than 50 hectares of dry and self-seeding vegetation, and also affected the forest massif. The head of the forestry enterprise and his accomplices decided to get the maximum profit from this," the report says.

The press service said that the officials took all measures to make their decision look legal, in particular:

  • a large plot was divided into many small ones, which greatly facilitated the bureaucratic procedure of substantiating the grounds for continuous felling;
  • provided necessary expert opinions;
  • produced "cover documents".

It is noted that the trees were cut down by a team of loggers who did not know about the illegality of such a task. The continuous felling of 2,000 trees lasted for four months.

The report added that police officers worked on the case together with specialists of the Specialized Environmental Prosecutor's Office. The suspicion was reported to the forester's assistant and the forest foreman, the third person involved died before the criminal activity of the group was exposed.

Perpetrators face five to seven years in prison.

Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that in June in Chernihiv Oblast, the director and chief forester of one of the forest farms was informed of the suspicion of illegal felling of trees worth 39 million hryvnias.

As EcoPolitic previously reported, the director of the Southern Forestry Office of the state-owned enterprise "Forests of Ukraine" and his assistants will be tried for stealing 15 million hryvnias from the state during his leadership at Kamin-Kashirsky agroforestry in Volyn.

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