A court in northern Myanmar has handed life imprisonment to 153 Chinese nationals after convicting them of illegal logging, Reuters reported.
Two other Chinese citizens were given 10-year jail terms for the same offense, the report said. The rulings were passed Wednesday by a court in Myitkyina, capital of Kachin state.
The individuals were arrested in January in a crackdown launched by Myanmar authorities on the country’s lucrative illegal logging and timber trade.
Regions along Myanmar’s porous border with China have long been hotbeds for the illegal trade in timber to feed Chinese demand.
Aye Myint Maung, deputy minister from Myanmar’s Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry, told parliament in June that 10,000 tons of timber had been seized from illegal loggers since January.
Most of it was said to be from Kachin state near the Chinese border.
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