It looks like Sailing
Yacht A is in hot water yet
again. According to reports, the 143-meter yacht was allegedly built with illegal teak.
A timber expert reportedly took samples of the wood used in
the yacht’s five-year construction by Nobiskrug. According to The
Independent, public prosecutor Alex Bieler told German news agency DPA that
an analysis of the wood’s ring structure and composition revealed that it
didn’t come from a legal plantation, but more likely from Myanmar forests, which are
being cut down at a high rate despite a national ban on teak exports.
However, Bieler reported to DPA that it’s unclear whether
Nobiskrug knew about the timber’s illegal origin.
London-based Environmental Investigation Agency began
investigating allegations of illegal teak in October 2016. After two months,
they found that Spanish supplier Teak Solutions and eight other European
suppliers were willfully ignorant of the timber they were using, failing to
identify or verify the source.
Teak Solutions reportedly bought the timber from Myanmar
Timber Enterprise (MTE), a Burmese government-controlled firm sanctioned
earlier this year for exporting teak from threatened forests or of questionable
Journal and German newspaper Der
Spiegel reports that Teak Solutions CEO Mike Kimble claims the imports were
legal at the time and that MTE was the safest source to use.
The investigation is ongoing, but Nobiskrug told local
newspaper Kieler Nachrichten that
they are fully cooperating. Bieler has yet to press charges.
This comes a little more than a month after Sailing Yacht A was seized
and released by authorities in Gibraltar following a breach of contract.