The Romanian Ministry of Environment, Water and Forests today announced that following an investigation of Holzindustrie Schweighofer's operations in the country, which started in May this year, a report will be handled over to the Prosecutor's Office of Romania's Supreme Court of Justice. It seems that the decision comes after some constitutive elements of crimes were found during the investigation, says Romanian media agency Mediafax.
Thus, according to a press release of the Romanian Ministry of Environment, ''following several reports in the media concerning possible irregularities in forestry operations, minister Gratiela Gavrilescu initiated during 07th of May 2015 and 12th of June 2015 a control at Holzindustrie Schweighofer S.R.L. Radauti and S.C. Holzindustrie Schweighofer Sebes and at its main wood suppliers.''
The main purpose of this inspection was to verify compliance with the legal provisions of the origin, transport, storage, primary processing and marketing of timber, including imports. The ministry says that ''after verifying inventories and accounting records, a number of irregularities were found. There is suspicion that several operators provided wood resulted from illegal logging activities. Inaccuracies were also found in: ''the reception and registration of wood''; ''receiving wood without being reported to the national Control and Tracking Wood Source system (SUMAL)''; ''the existence of wood without documents of provenance''; ''differences between quantities of wood officially registered in company's accounting documents and received quantities of wood''.
Since the inspection reports were transmitted to the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Environment states that it cannot provide any further details of the evidence found.
The Ministry's investigation is even more striking after Holzindustrie Schweighofer specifically stated that ''any wood delivery to Holzindustrie Schweighofer has to be sourced from legal harvesting only''. Moreover, back in June, Holzindustrie Schweighofer has requested an immediate audit from the certifying body Holzforschung Austria, Vienna, at the company's sawmill locations in Romania. The audit has confirmed that Holzindustrie Schweighofer satisfies the rules and regulations of the PEFC standards for the verification of the origin of wood, with the PEFC certificate (HFA-CoC-0018) being confirmed.