Eco-Crime: The Tropical Timber Trade

  • Tim Boekhout van Solinge
Part of the Studies in Organized Crime book series (SOOC, volume 7)

In April 2002, during the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (BCD) in The Hague, environmental groups held actions in several European countries: Germany, Finland, France, Italy, and the Netherlands. A cargo ship was boarded off the Dutch coast by Greenpeace activists who chained themselves to the ship, climbed the mast and displayed a banner saying “Europe, stop ancient forest destruction.”1 The shiptransported timber of the Oriental Timber Company (OTC), the largest logging company in Liberia, West Africa. The next day, Greenpeace activists climbed the cranes in the Amsterdam timber harbour, preventing the Liberian timber from being unloaded. On the third day, the police arrested the activists, who were later released without charge. The environmental groups Greenpeace and Global Witness claimed that the Liberian timber on board came from a unique ancient forest in West Africa. The NGOs also claimed the timber trade was connected to arms trafficking. The timber companies concerned reiterated that their timber cargo was legal, as it had been logged and exported with the authorisation of the Liberian authorities, a fact conceded by the environmental groups.


Organize Crime Security Council Ancient Forest Green Criminology Tropical Timber 


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  • Tim Boekhout van Solinge

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