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Raw Intelligence: Dejia Group

Inside One of the Congo Basin’s Worst Forest Offenders


EIA Raw Intelligence Series - #1 Dejia Group

Bribery, overharvesting and tax evasion. And that’s just the beginning. In EIA’s recently released report Toxic Trade: Forest Crime in Gabon and the Republic of Congo and Contamination of the US Market we exposed how the Dejia Group – a conglomerate of affiliated companies controlled by the Chinese magnate Xu Gong De – repeatedly violates the most fundamental laws of forest governance, and thus has contributed to pillaging the Congo Basin Forest, the world’s second lung next to the Amazon Rainforest.

Our report shows how the company illegally obtains logging rights; over-harvests even endangered species; exports logs well beyond their authorized quota; and hides tens of millions of dollars in profits through transfer pricing schemes. All of this has gone on for years. EIA’s findings indicate that this intricate scheme of illegally sourcing timber relies on the buyers’ complicity and a cultivated network of corrupt officials, paid off by the companies that comprise the Dejia Group.

Consequences developing in the wake of EIA’s report have just begun to materialize globally and across the supply chain. In the United States, the principal manufacturer, one of the largest logging and timber companies in the country, immediately stopped sale of the product consisting of Congolese and Gabonese timber. US authorities also have opened an investigation into the toxic supply chain and its main actors.

In Gabon, authorities have launched their own investigation, and their findings, made public a few days ago, confirmed the validity of those in EIA’s report. Gabonese authorities subsequently have suspended the logging rights of the companies in Gabon, seized their available logs, and are pursuing a more in-depth investigation.

Meanwhile, authorities in the Republic of Congo have publicly attacked the report, denied its findings, and falsely reassured international buyers that the wood from the Republic of Congo is not illegally sourced; in their words: “The government wishes to point out that no forest company can operate illegally in our country.” On April 16th 2019, a right-of-reply letter from the Republic of Congo shared publicly by the four affiliates of the Dejia Group mentioned by EIA – SICOFOR and CDWI in the Republic of Congo; SSMO and SBM in Gabon – characterized EIA’s report as “perfidious and deliberate slanders” and presented its findings, as “totally wrong.” Admissions of illegalities by high-ranking company officials in each country were categorized as “personal remarks” that did not represent the companies, despite these admissions coming directly from the highest management officials in each country.

In order to present the truth and bring more evidence to the public eye, EIA is launching a new video series called “Raw Intelligence.” Through minimally edited undercover videos, capturing Dejia management speaking in their own words, EIA will demonstrate how the crimes documented in Toxic Trade are both pervasive and structural. Company officials admitting to broad tax evasion schemes in order to hide profits and paying off local and national officials to turn a blind eye toward violations are just two examples of what our Raw Intelligence footage will show. We invite you to look at the evidence yourself. Watch the first episode here and make sure to follow the Raw Intelligence series over the next few weeks at www.eia-global.org.

Read the other parts of the series:
Raw Intelligence: WCTS

To read this post in French, click here

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Recent Reports

Condenando El Bosque
06/26/2019
Ilegalidad y falta de gobernanza en la Amazonía colombiana
Toxic Trade: Forest Crime in Gabon and the Republic of Congo and Contamination of the US Market
03/25/2019
For four years, EIA has investigated the logging sector in the Congo and Gabon, countries that together account for approximately 60 percent of the total area under forest management in the Congo Basin. EIA’s findings reveal that one of the largest and most influential Chinese timber companies in Africa, the “Dejia Group,” has built its business model on bribery and crime.

Recent Press Releases

Condenando El Bosque
06/26/2019
Un nuevo informe de investigación de Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), Condenando el Bosque, revela el modus operandi utilizado por traficantes para comercializar madera con permisos comprados en el mercado negro, incluyendo especies protegidas como el cedro; y detalla cómo intermediarios aprovechan vacíos legales para lavar madera y escapar cualquier responsabilidad legal, dejando que los titulares de los permisos de aprovechamiento paguen las consecuencias.
California Green Lights Incentive Program to Reduce HFCs
06/14/2019
This week California’s legislature approved a 2019-2020 budget providing $1 million to create an incentive program for reducing emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Established by the California Cooling Act (SB1013) passed last year, the program will incentivize adoption of climate-friendly refrigerant technologies, with a mandate to also consider other co-benefits such as energy efficiency and opportunities for increasing recovery, reclamation, and destruction of refrigerants at end-of-life.

Recent Videos

Raw Intelligence: TBNI
06/12/2019
The managers of the company Transport Bois Négoce International (TBNI) know how to make big money off of logging the Congo Basin forest while keeping their profit hidden from Gabonese authorities. Yet their methods remain a secret no more, as company officials described in detail to EIA investigators the tricks of their trade.
Intelligence Brute: TBNI
06/12/2019
Les dirigeants de la société Transport Bois Négoce International (TBNI) savent comment gagner beaucoup d’argent en exploitant les forêts du Bassin du Congo, tout en gardant leurs bénéfices bien cachés aux yeux des autorités gabonaises. Mais leurs méthodes ne sont plus un secret, car l’un des responsables de la société a décrit en détail ces manigances aux enquêteurs sous-couverts d'EIA.
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Widespread adoption of HFC-free technologies is cost-effective, energy efficient, and climate-friendly. Read EIA’s report Putting the Freeze on HFCs for hundreds of examples of HFC-free technologies available and in use today.
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