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Renovation of the Gorch Fock: Deals with the timber mafia?

New corruption allegations overshadow the renovation of the "Gorch Fock": A supplier should have completed Deals with the Asian timber Mafia. The Hamburg-based company defends itself.

The "Gorch Fock" has long been the subject of criticism: the long wait time, the skyrocketing repair costs, and possibly corruption. And now the wood supplier of the vessel according to the British environmental organization, EIA (Environmental Investigation Agency) should have handled also dubious Deals with a timber mafia in Asia, to buy the most coveted wood in the world, Teak from Myanmar, which is mainly used in yachts, super yachts and the "Gorch Fock".

British activists researched undercover

In year-long Undercover research, in which EIA-employees posing as timber buyers, they had come on the trail of a TRANS-national network, says the EIA. "We have found that this network, using all means, to the best of Teak, and thus the most valuable wood."

The Teak wood is required for the Deck of the "Gorch Fock".

In particular, corruption is the tool of choice, says Jago Wadley, the EIA. The network of the so-called "Teak king" Cheng Pui Chee had paid the President of Myanmar in millions of US dollars, or, for example, one of the leading officials in the military or management of the Southeast Asian country, the private schools for their children and expensive hospital treatments funded.

high-Quality teak wood as inferior

In Myanmar is overseen by the forestry sector from the management authority of the MTE Myanmar Timber Enterprise, declared. The officials select which of the trees are cut down which companies receive felling licences and how the auctions to expire, where the felled trees are sold. And here is the criminal network was - according to the EIA: These officials would have marked accordingly, high-quality Teak as inferior, which was then purchased by the network cheap.

the network to the Chinese Cheng Pui Chee from Hong Kong also bought companies, cut down more Teak than a set. Or in the case of Chinese firms, which sent armed lumberjack over the border, so that they plundered the forest, hunting for Teak.

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