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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Teams of Illegal Lumberjacks Rack Up $3M Worth of Trees in Irkutsk

Police detained several teams of illegal lumberjacks in the Nizhneilimsky district of the Irkutsk region, the press service of the Interior Ministry's regional branch said Tuesday.

Large-scale illegal harvesting of pine trees was carried out in various places simultaneously, in both the Verkhneilimsky and Zheleznogorky districts, Interfax reported. According to the ministry, the damages from this illegal logging amount to more than 90 million rubles ($3 million).

"The police uncovered several instances of illegal harvesting with a combined volume of over 8,000 cubic meters of wood. Seven tractors were seized, and 12 chainsaws. 17 people were detained," the statement reads.

Several charges of illegally chopping down trees have been filed, each of which carries a maximum punishment of one year in prison.