NBI nabs 2 persons for selling Agarwood, an expensive, endangered forest product

Published June 19, 2021, 1:54 PM

by Rey Panaligan 

National Bureau of Investigation (2)

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested two persons in Quezon City last June 15 for transporting, possessing, and selling Agarwood, an endangered forest product, without government permit.

Arrested and later charged by agents of the NBI’s Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD) were Nathaniel N. Avelino and Mark Gil V. Espino, NBI Officer-In-Charge (OIC) Director Eric B. Distor said.

Last June 16, the NBI said that Avelino and Espino were charge before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office with violation of Section 77 of Presidential Decree No. 05 otherwise known as the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines as amended, and Section 27(e) and (f) of Republic Act No. 9147, the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.


Wikipedia says: “Agarwood, aloeswood, eaglewoord or gharuwood is a fragrant dark resinous wood used in incense, perfume, and small carvings. It is formed in the heartwood of Aquilaria trees when they become infected with a type of mold.”

Distor said “Avelino and Espino were arrested in an entrapment operation which stemmed from an information received by the NBI-EnCD regarding a group of individuals who are engaged in the selling and possession of an endangered forest product known as Agarwood.”

Several months after, the NBI said an informant revealed that a certain “Jerry” was in possession of Agarwood and was selling the same for P150,000 per kilo.

“NBI-EnCD operatives then conducted verification through meeting and transacting with ‘Jerry’ and his two companions. A certain ‘Mark,’ one of Jerry’s companions made a final arrangement to sell 17 kilograms of Agarwood for P115,000 or a total of P1,955,000 to the poseur-buyer on June 15, 2021,” it said.

In the operation that resulted in the arrest of Avelino and Espino, the NBI said its agents were assisted by the personnel from Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Law Enforcement and Protection Service (DENR-ELEPS) and DENR-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR).

Siezed from the suspects, it added, were 17.75 kilos of Agarwood, weighing scale, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and Mitsubishi Adventure with plate number DCP 3396.