There is a booming trade in bois de rose, one of the world's rarest trees, even though the logging and export of rosewood from Madagascar is banned. This is a multimillion-dollar industry.
According to a report by Tamasin Ford in The Guardian (23 Dec. 2013), the final destination is China. This is the view of Guy Suzon Ramangason, director general of Madagascar National Parks.
"There is a network of mafiosi of bois de rose," he said. "Money in this type of network is very, very powerful." He said the wood was first shipped to intermediary countries, where false papers were drawn up legalising the cargo.
The precious bois de rose is rapidly vanishing from the island. In 2009, up to USD 500,000 worth of bois de rose was being shipped out of Madagascar each day. There are no figures for the levels it has reached today (in 2013) but it seems to be worse than in 2009.
The illegal logging and smuggling of bois de rose in the Masoala and Marojejy national parks in the country's north-east exploded after the coup in 2009. An investigation by two NGOs, Global Witness and the Washington-based Environmental Investigation Agency, documented the illegal harvesting and trafficking of the wood, destined mainly for China.