Wikileak document reveal how the Russia's Forest Mafia operates
The US cables reveal the problem with illegally harvesting and how Chinese and Russian logging companies operates. According to the cables smugglers use different methods to illicitly export illegal timber, most of which are able to pass through customs inspections and established border crossings using fake documents and fraudulent declarations. Often companies mix illegally harvested wood into shipments of legally procured product. They also make customs declarations passing off valuable and prohibited species as low-value, legal timber. According to the document 50 percent of soft wood and 90 percent of hardwood harvested in the Russian Far East and Siberia eventually ends up in the U.S. as finished goods after being processed in China.
The unclassified cables obtained by WikiLeaks finish at the end of January 2009 from the american Consulate in Vladivostok to Washington DC.
Read cable here
Russian authorities recently decided to reduce tariffs resulting in a reduced incentive for smuggling.