Papua New Guinea is losing out on hundreds of millions of much needed dollars because of a complex web of tax evasion by overseas logging companies.
A new report from the US-based research group, The Oakland Institute, exposes massive tax evasion and financial reporting by logging companies mainly operating on the controversial Special Agricultural Business Leases.
The report's author, Frederic Mousseau, investigated the financial records of dozens of companies, including the Malaysian giant Rimbunan Hijau, and found that many have reported little or no profit for over a decade.
"There's logging companies which have been operating for decades in the country all claim to, or most of them claim to be operating at a loss which is really puzzling when you look at the activities of the industry. Basically, we find it really hard to believe that it could stay in business and keep operating for decades."
Frederic Mousseau hopes the report's findings will prompt the Papua New Guinea Government to take action.