A group of young men broke into a house in Thanh Sen 1 village of Phuc Trach Commune in Quang Binh Province’s Bo Trach District Friday afternoon to rob a plank of sua wood weighing around 20kg.
Nguyen Thi Nga reports the robbery to police on the spot, Photo: Tuoi Tre
The village is the residence of the 11 people who allegedly chopped down three sua trees, scientifically known as dalbergia tonkinensis, in the Hung Tri area inside the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park in Quang Binh.
The victim, Nguyen Thi Nga, said that at around 3pm she was sleeping with her daughter in the house when four or five strangers jumped out from a car and rushed into her house with knives and scimitars.
Threatened by the robbers that they would kill her if she refused to show them where she hid the sua wood, Nga took them to her bedroom, where the robbers quickly seized the wood and fled.
Sua wood is an aromatic and insect-resistant wood that is highly sought after for as much as millions of dong per kilogram.
Nga said she and her husband Nguyen Van Trung found the wood in the forest a year ago. Trung was drinking with some locals outside the house but failed to make any moves against the daylight robbery.
“The robbers are not locals, and they speak a northern accent,” Nga told reporters.
Phuc Trach commune and Bo Trach district police arrived at the spot for investigation, but announced later that day that they have yet to identify the robbers.
More pieces seized
Earlier on Thursday, park rangers of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park seized four pieces of sua wood at the Vuc Tro area of the forest, after detecting 360 kilograms of this wood, worth around VND10 billion (US$480,000), on Tuesday.
The wood weighs a total of more than 310kg, one of which weighs nearly 100kg, and is 2 meters wide.
A source close to Tuoi Tre said the wood belongs to one of the 11 men suspected of cutting down the trees in Hung Tri area, who had hired a group of locals to carry 11 pieces of wood out of the area.
The hired porters left four pieces behind when they saw park rangers at Vuc Tro area, while the remaining seven pieces have been safely transported to the designated place, the source said.
Sua wood on auction
At a time when the number of sua wood robberies reported is increasing in Bo Trach District and the culprits responsible for felling the three trees have yet to be identified, an auction of a batch of this costly wood was scheduled to take place today, May 12 at the Quang Binh Auction Center.
“The auction has been earlier planned and announced, so it still had to be organized,” explained the center director Tu Minh Lien.
The auctioning batch of sua wood was confiscated by park rangers and border officers at Truong Son Commune of Quang Ninh District in November 2011.
The 58kg batch of wood has the starting price of VND750 million (US$36,000), a rate which the provincial Forest Management Agency said was based on market price.
Source: Tuoi Tre
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