Holzmafia: Trade in teak despite the ban – who benefits and collects – economy

There is a particular demand for it in an industry in which money is not an issue: teak is a rare luxury item and imports into the EU have long been banned. But traders find loopholes and dubious delivery routes.


Christoph Cadenbach, Marcus Engert and Kristiana Ludwig

Some materials can only be created by nature. They don’t let people copy them, breed them or grow them. That makes them precious. Teak is one such material. A teak tree that has been growing in the jungle for decades resists water and sun, fungi and pests like no other wood. Teak planted on plantations, on the other hand, never achieves these properties. A specialist can tell from the fine, dark stripes in the grain whether the wood comes from a plantation or from the jungle.

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