Member of Parliament for Builsa South Clement Apaak has petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor over revelations that government officials are neck-deep in the illegal business of felling and exportation of rosewoods to China.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) undercover investigation revealed that about six million rosewood trees had been cut down in Ghana for illegal export to China since 2012.
The rare species, which takes 100 years to grow, is mostly used to make imperial-style furniture in China.
The report blames corrupt officials in Ghana for forging documents to allow the wood to leave the country
Ghana and other West African countries are the victims of China’s insatiable and unchecked demand for rosewood, the EIA said.
“Since 2012, over 540,000 tons of rosewood – the equivalent of 23,478 twenty-foot containers or approximately six million trees – were illegally harvested and imported into China from Ghana while bans on harvest and trade have been in place,” the group added.
Investigations found “a massive institutionalised timber trafficking scheme, enabled by high-level corruption and collusion”, it said.
Apaak who has been crusading petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor for investigations into the alleged involvement of government officials in the illegal rosewood business.
He also demanded the resignation of Lands and Natural Resources Minister Asoma Chiremeh and CEO for Forestry Commission Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie over the expose’.
“I have identified Mr Nana Adu Nsiah, Executive Director of the Wild Life division of the forestry commission because the report indicates very clearly that he has been very central, facilitating and enhancing the illegal rosewood business.
“Any other official of the forestry commission I believe should also be held accountable. In this case, if, we are going to hold the one in charge of Wild Life, then Supremo himself, Sir John must also be held accountable,” he said of his petition to Starr News.