The number of criminal cases in the field of logging has risen sharply in the Altai Republic | infopro54

In the last two years, at least 8,000 cedars have been cut illegally in the Turochak region alone. These are the results of inspections carried out by the Altai Republic Commission of Inquiry into the logging sector in the region. On May 27, the Arbitration Court of the Republic imposed a moratorium on the work of lumberjacks in the Turochaksky area on illegally ceded plots.

We remind you that since the beginning of 2022, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic of Altai and its existing institutions have been trembling with the news of arrests and the initiation of criminal cases. They are mainly associated with the Turochak region, where logging is one of the main areas of economic activity.

In January, as reported by the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Altai, following inspections based on appeals of residents of the village of Biyka, 28 cases of administrative offenses in the field of environmental protection and nature management and 5 criminal cases under »Part 2, part 3 of the article. 260 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation (“Illegal logging of forest plantations”). Damage to nature was caused in the amount of at least 11 million rubles, about 400 cubic meters of cedar wood was demolished.

In February, Sergei Yeshikov, director of the Turochak Forest Service, was detained at his workplace. He is suspected of bribing licenses to a local lumberjack who decided to make money on Christmas trees.

Then in April, former Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Sergei Rastvorov was taken into custody, his previous job was deputy head of the Turochak region, ie he knows local businessmen involved in the logging industry. He is also suspected of bribery by businessmen, two of whom are now under house arrest in Turochak. In April, the region’s Minister of Natural Resources, Ekaterina Povarova, also wrote a letter of resignation in connection with the transfer to another job.

Another criminal case, launched in April, is also linked to cedar logging. According to the Investigative Committee of the Altai Republic, officials of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ecology and Tourism of the Altai Republic, in violation of the current legislation of the Russian Federation, using their official powers against the interests of the service, acting selfishly and others personal interests, at the request of the gold mining organization Vera LLC provided illegal forest plots with a total area of ​​130 hectares, located in the territory of the Turochaksky region, for the geological study of the subsoil, exploration and extraction, as well as for timber harvesting.

– All parties knew in advance that these forest areas would only be used for timber harvesting. In addition, the officials approved the positive conclusions of the forest development projects submitted by this trade organization, which provide for the felling of forest plantations, and also approved its forest declarations. At the time, Sergei Rastvorov was Deputy Minister of Natural Resources for “Forest Affairs”. Under the agreements reached, 14,896 cubic meters of forest plantations, mainly cedar, were illegally reduced, according to the press service of the environmental prosecutor’s office.

A meeting of the Democratic Court of Arbitration was held on May 27, where it was decided to stop all work on the timber arch, to remove it from the plots and warehouses of Vera LLC.

All offenses for which criminal cases were initiated in 2022 occurred between 2020 and 2022, in areas where the local population collects nuts. In a democracy that is not economically rich, for the inhabitants, the forest is an opportunity to make good money, so the protection of cedar in such areas becomes more relevant than ever.

You can often hear from locals about “Chinese”, “Muscovites” or anyone else spoiling the nature of the Altai, but so far in democracy, in terms of illegal logging, this is done exclusively by local businessmen, people who are not respected and love for nature. Nobody argues that they need a forest, there is a logging fund, mainly fir, but they get cedar – the most valuable thing in this taiga and the impunity they felt for a long time led to such consequences and huge damage to nature.

Earlier, the authors referred to the results of the inspection of forests, which are on the balance sheet of SB RAS, by the prosecutor.

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