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Sailing Yacht A Reportedly Built with Illegal Teak

Apr 6th 17


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 origins. Digital 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. 


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