The East Indian sandalwood tree is one of the most valuable trees in the world. Both the sandalwood and the extracted oil produce a distinctive fragrance that has been highly valued for centuries. They are prized in the field of alternative medicine.
Exports of sandalwood from Australia require a license. This requirement was ignored by three illegal timber exporters, who have recently been sentenced at the Perth District court after pleading guilty of illegally exporting a total of 208.5 tonnes of sandalwood to the value of AUD 3 million.
The individuals were given terms of imprisonment (ranging from 15 to 30 months), to be released forthwith on good behaviour bonds, and fined a total of AUD 97,000 for their roles in the deception.
Authorities were welcoming this sentence, underlining that it is paramount that exporters comply with Australia’s strict export and biosecurity laws to help safeguard its trade status. They hope that the penalties act as a strong deterrent for anyone looking to harm Australia’s reputation.
Source: Press Release (1 May 2021)