Sailing Yacht A Reportedly Built with Illegal Teak

6 April 2017

It looks like SailingYacht A is in hot water yetagain. According to reports, the 143-meter yacht was allegedly built with illegal teak.

A timber expert reportedly took samples of the wood used inthe yacht’s five-year construction by Nobiskrug. According to TheIndependent, public prosecutor Alex Bieler told German news agency DPA thatan analysis of the wood’s ring structure and composition revealed that itdidn’t come from a legal plantation, but more likely from Myanmar forests, which arebeing cut down at a high rate despite a national ban on teak exports.

However, Bieler reported to DPA that it’s unclear whetherNobiskrug knew about the timber’s illegal origin.

London-based Environmental Investigation Agency beganinvestigating allegations of illegal teak in October 2016. After two months,they found that Spanish supplier Teak Solutions and eight other Europeansuppliers were willfully ignorant of the timber they were using, failing toidentify or verify the source.

Teak Solutions reportedly bought the timber from MyanmarTimber Enterprise (MTE), a Burmese government-controlled firm sanctionedearlier this year for exporting teak from threatened forests or of questionableorigins. DigitalJournal and German newspaper DerSpiegel reports that Teak Solutions CEO Mike Kimble claims the imports werelegal at the time and that MTE was the safest source to use.

The investigation is ongoing, but Nobiskrug told localnewspaper Kieler Nachrichten thatthey 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.