Members of the Lao National Assembly say illegal logging is increasingly widespread throughout the country because of corrupt officials who collaborate with businessmen both at the federal and provincial levels.
One deputy said in a recent debate during the on-going third session of the sixth Legislature that officials allow loggers to exceed the allotted quotas.
Laos is cracking down hard on illegal logging by closing down over 2,000 sawmills and sub-standard small wood processing plants. Dr. Nam Vinhaket, minister of Industry and Commerce, says authorities will keep a close eye on the remaining 88 and will shut them down immediately if any illegal activity is detected.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.