The smuggling of illegally harvested merbau is the focus of a new report released by environmental groups the Enivronmental Investigation Agency and Telepak.

Rogue Traders: The Murky Business of Merbau Timber Smuggling in Indonesia calls on the Indonesian government to launch criminal investigations into two individuals and to protect merbau under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The report says that despite significant progress being made against illegal smuggling of merbau to China, enforcement action against the smugglers has stalled.

EIA/Telepak’s investigation focuses on the merbau trade in China and Singapore, as well as Survaya, Makassar and Papua in Indonesia.

Undercover EIA/Telepak investigators posing as timber buyers claimed one of the alleged smugglers admitted smuggling up to 50 containers a month of merbau square logs to China in contravention of Indonesia’s log and sawn timber export bans.

The groups are also calling on the government to establish a taskforce reporting directly to the president on actions taken against illegal logging.