14 Sep 2005

Illegal loggers in Solomon Islands warned they could be shut down

4:13 pm on 14 September 2005

Logging companies operating illegally in the Guadalcanal province of Solomon Islands are being warned they will be shut down.

The deputy provincial premier, Stephen Panga, says loggers have to apply to the provincial government to get approval before they can log around Gaudalcanal.

And, he says they have to pay their license before they have the right to operate.

Mr Panga says there are three or four logging companies which are operating illegally.

"I cannot exactly confirm what is exactly the number like but the provincial government is well aware that some illegal companies operate. They're operating illegally. We are well aware and we will be keeping track on the records of those companies. When we've confirmed the companies that operate illegally, we will be requesting them to close their business."

Mr Panga says the provincial premier and officials are going to the east coast today to check out the activities of these companies.