Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister for Lands & Natural Resources speaking to journalists

Investigations into attempted exports of five containers of Rosewood species in June and July 2021 are yet to be concluded, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, has said.

In June 2021, five containers loaded with Rosewood were impounded at the Tema Port.

Following reports of the arrest, a team from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource, led by Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, a Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, inspected the containers and after going through all required processes, the containers were evacuated to the Forestry Commision Depot in Achimota, and the Rosewood subsequently were allegedly donated to the National Cathedral Project.

Meanwhile, giving an answer to a question on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday by Mr Suhuyini Alhassan Sayibu, a National Democratic Congress (NDC), Member of Parliament (MP), for Tamale North, Mr Jinapor said he was informed that investigations were on going.

Mr Governs Kwame Agbodza, the Minority Chief Whip, who asked the question on behalf of Mr Sayibu, inquired about the outcome of investigations into attempted exports of five containers of Rosewood species in June and July of 2021 was.

“Mr Speaker, apart from this specific investigation of the five containers, on 30th August, 2021, I wrote to the the Minister for National Security requesting for full scale investigations into the cartels involved in this Rosewood business, and I am informed that this investigation is also ongoing,” he said.

Mr Jinapor, also a New Patriotic Party (NPP), MP for Damango, emphasised that the matters of investigations and law enforcement were within remit of the various security agencies established by law.

According to him, the Ministry continued to provide these agencies with the needed support and cooperation to execute their mandate and to ensure that all those found culpable were made to face the full rigours of the law.

Mr Jinapor further told the House that a ban on the harvesting, trading, exporting and importing of Rosewood, as well as the issuance of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) permits for the export Rosewood, remained in full force.

“…And Mr Speaker, we have, largely, come to grips with legalities associated with Rosewood. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to protect, preserve and conserve this precious endangered species,” he said.