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Ukraine's State Border Service searched in deforestation case

Investigative actions are being held at the central and two regional offices.

Ukraine's State Border Service searched in deforestation case
Photo: facebook.com/bochkala

The military prosecutor's office and the National Police are searching the office of the State Border Service.

"At around 09.30 a.m. armed people stormed into the State Border Service administration. It later transpired that these were the officers of the KORD special police unit and the department for fighting economic crimes," a spokesperson for the State Border Service, Oleh Slobodyan, said on the air of 112 Ukrayina TV.

Representatives of the military prosecutor's office presented a search warrant. They are investigating illegal deforestation in Transcarpathian Region.

Slobodyan said that law enforcers had attempted to block the border service control system.

Investigative actions are being held at the central office of the State Border Service, the Western regional command and the Chop border unit.

A number of Chop unit servicemen were declared suspects, Slobodyan said.

According to journalist Roman Bochkala, in particular, the office of the first deputy head of the State Border Service, Vasyl Servatyuk, is being searched.

In 2015, Ukraine lost 24,000 cu.m. of wood to illegal deforestation.

In July 2015, the law introducing a 10-year moratorium on the export of raw wood came into force. However this did not stop massive felling.

In May, the Cabinet of Ministers banned preventive deforestation and dismissed the head of the State Forest Agency.