Vietnamese police are investigating a case in which thousands of pine trees in a Central Highlands province have been destroyed with chemicals since 2013 by unidentified people who want to illegally turn forestland into residential land.
Police in Dak G’Long District of Dak Nong Province have initiated the investigation after receving a report by the local Forest Protection Office that thousands of pine trees have been destroyed since late last year.
Among the trees that have been killed are those that are up to 30 years old, said the office, which asked the police help identify those who were behind the destruction.
The latest illegal deforestation occurred several days ago with 400 pine trees fading and then dying abnormally in a pine forest in Quang Son Commune.
Relevant agencies were called to the scene and found that hazardous chemicals had been poured into small holes dug out from the base of each tree.
Most of the dead trees are 20-25 meters tall and had been planted 25-30 years ago. Of these trees, 25 were cut down.
A pine tree that has been poisoned to death with chemicals in a forest in Quang Son Commune, the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong
A similar scene was found in another forest in Quang Son, with 100 trees destroyed.
Many areas of the forests have been leveled as if they were being prepared for the construction of houses, the district’s forest protection office said.
Since last year, about 2,500 pine trees have been killed by poisoning in separate cases, the office told police.
Police are trying to identify what chemicals were used and who used them in the destruction.