Chinese nationals in illegal timber trade …taking undue advantage of Govt. complacency

It is now becoming evident that most Chinese nationals visiting or residing in Sierra Leone are involved in several dubious types of trading activities, some could be legal though, but majority of the trading activities they are engaged are believed to be illegal and generally out of their mandate. Timber logging and trade in Sierra Leone is one with contention and a number of foreign nationals are reportedly involved in the trade in a manner that could be referred to as illegal and highly criminal, taking undue advantage of the porous nature of the security apparatus of the state and the complacency of the Sierra Leone Government.


With the African continent to which Sierra Leone is an integral part now turns to the new business destination, different nationals are flooding in to get a taste of the new-sweet- juice of Africa. Sierra Leone being one of the hottest spots of investments is attracting both fake and genuine investors and Chinese nationals are very visible in every parts of the country. Most of them are engaged in illegal logging, mining and sale of timber. The back of the newly built Chinese Hospital at Hastings is the scene of illegal timber collection by Chinese nationals for export to China and other western countries. With the presence of these nationals in Sierra Leone, not only timber is in trouble; but other raw materials.

It is not known under which treaty Chinese nationals are flooding the country and carting away the country’s natural resources without acquiring the necessary documentations, while the government seems to be turning a blind to those illegal and unproductive acts. Sierra Leoneans are not happy with this development, but it would appear that they are looking for protection that would never come their way now or in the nearest future. The new Chinese- Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital located in Jui, East of Freetown is undoubtedly the Den of Chinese mafiasco deal.

According to investigations mounted by this medium, it is believed that most of the Chinese nationals who took part in the construction of the hospital never returned to their country, as they realized that Sierra Leone is a lucrative venue for business and other illegal activities without going through or suffering any consequence for their action(s).

Timber logs, investigation reveals are brought into the Den on a daily basis from the provinces and the back of the new hospital is used as a storage facility. From the back of the Jui hospital the logs are neatly packed for export. The situation is not only worrisome; but a course for great national concern as these nationals are believed to be reaping the country apart under the guise of diplomatic relations instead of making maximum contribution to its future development.

Most of the illegal logging, timber trade and export by them are done with the aid of some sierra Leoneans resident in that part of the Country and other locations that converged everyday at the timber den to carry out the exercise. Since the end of the construction work on the hospital the illegal trade has been the focus of the Chinese and it is believed that thousands of hard currencies are generated from it with little Leones poured into the purchase of raw materials.

Some residents of the locality, interviewed by this medium explained that the Chinese trade in timber has been ongoing for quite a while now with nothing done by the central government to put a stop to it. They explained that the newly built hospital is used by them as a cover to execute the dubious and illegal trade, which is being perceived by many Sierra Leoneans as detrimental to the state of Sierra Leone.

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