August 10, 2022

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Tropical Timber Against Russian Mercenaries: How the Central African Republic Sold a Forest to the Wagner Group

Since 2021, Bois Rouge, a company linked to Wagner’s private military group, an unofficial arm of the Kremlin, has been exploiting the forests of the west of the Central African Republic. It receives surprisingly favorable treatment from the authorities, and sometimes operates outside the law.


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LThe Central African Republic traded thousands of hectares of high-value-added tropical timber forests in 2021 to Bois Rouge, a private military group linked to Wagner, in exchange for the services of its mercenaries to secure country officials? Today we publish a three-month investigation by the media network European Intelligence Cooperation (EIC) and N.G.O OpenFacto.

Our investigation shows that the Bois Rouge company, officially based in Central Africa, is actually closely connected to Russian interests in that country, more precisely to the business network of Wagner Group financier Evgueni Prigozhin. Central African authorities have empowered the Bois Rouge to exploit the forest intensively, almost without paying taxes and sometimes in violation of the law.


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