19th February, 2014
168 Aquilaria Sinensis Illegally Logged Last Year
In recent years, there are multiple cases of Aquilaria Sinensis being logged illegally and stolen from Hong Kong. In Pak Ngan Heung in Lantau Island, for example, over a hundred Aquilaria Sinensis with agilawood were logged in the past few years. Wong Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment, responded to a Legislative Council enquiry via a letter that a total of 168 Aquilaria Sinensis were logged in 2013, weighing around 133.5kg – the largest number in the last five years. The Environment Department has arrested around 200 people in the past five years for Aquilaria Sinensis logging and the highest penalty given so far was four years and three months imprisonment.
The Environment Department emphasised that according to Forests and Countryside Ordinance, maximum penalty for logging or damaging trees or growing plants in government land is US$3,200 and a year of imprisonment. Depending on the case, the police could charge the individuals for a more serious crime according to the Theft Ordinance for a maximum penalty of 10 years of jail time.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said that it will be work closely with the police to fight against illegal Aquilaria Sinensis logging activities, and will ask the court to impose heavier punishment on future cases. The AFCD also said that it will patrol more frequently in areas where illegal logging was found.
Agilawood is used for making medicine and scent. In China, Agilawood is listed in the Protect List. A kilogram worth of Agilawood can worth up to USD1,300.