Savannah Regional Minister, Salifu Adam Braimah has ordered the closure of Brivywell Company, the timber firm owned by embattled Chinese woman, Helena Huang.
The firm, which is located in Yipala, a farming community near Damongo is alleged to have been engaged in illegal logging and processing of rosewood, which has been banned, for export to China for the past three years.
Speaking to the media during a tour to the area, Salifu Adam Braimah expressed shock at the number of logs on the site and promised to clamp down on other illegal timber companies.
“We have allowed some unscrupulous persons into our vicinity, taking the law into their own hands to our disadvantage….they are making huge sums of money and at the same time making the environment highly unfriendly and unhealthy,” the Minister said.
Braimah has set up a nine-member committee with the mandate of investigating factors that militate against the efforts made so far to eliminate illegal logging, investigate the roles played by individuals, groups, institutions, including state institutions in aiding the situation.
The committee is chaired by the Deputy Savannah Regional Minister, Samuel Yayu Tika.
Other members of the committee are Sulemana Yusuf, MP for Bole/Bamboi constituency, Alhaji Sadique Bakari Nyare, Dramani Issahaku, Osman Mohammed Amin, Mr.Sammy Wusah, Former MP for Damongo constituency, Kipo Suyenzi, Former DCE of Sawla Tuna Kalba District, Habibi Muftawu, media expert.
Helena Huang was arrested last week by Police in Tamale for allegedly attempting to smuggle four containers of Rosewood.
The Police say they intercepted two trucks in Tamale loaded with two containers of rosewood belonging to the Chinese national.
According to the Northern Regional Police crime officer, Superintendent Otuo Acheampong, Helena Huang failed to produce her passport and other documents to show that she legally acquired the products.
She was granted a police inquiry bail on the same day after her arrest but was said to have jumped bail.
Police said the surety who stood for Helena Huang’s bail, will soon be dragged to the High Court in Tamale if he fails to produce the suspect.
The Northern Regional Police Command has subsequently filed a summon notice at the High Court to compel the surety to produce the suspect.
“The suspect has failed to report herself to the Police so we are going to invoke Section 104 (1) of the criminal procedure Act 30. We have gone to court, praying the court to grant our request for the recognizance to be forfeited on the surety so we are hopeful that by Monday, the surety will be put before court for the court to compel him to produce a suspect or any other details that the court may deem fit,” the command said.