Wood for Mercenaries: on the road to international markets

Our new report comes back on our previous investigation on Bois Rouge conducted with our partner EIC Network in July 2022.

Key findings in the report include:

  • Following our initial investigation, Bois Rouge sarlu has changed its name to Wood International Group sarlu. Its team changed with a new Central African director and a new Russian commercial director.
  • In order to evade scrutiny, Bois Rouge/WIG is using an opaque logistics system relying on drivers and logistics companies to transport its wood to Cameroon. It also use CAR Kassai camp, a military base.
  • Bois Rouge/WIG keeps benefiting from a very advantageous commercial agreement with the CAR government: fiscal and financial advantages, complete control over the plot and its access. There is no environmental and community management plan in place. Aka pygmies are leaving the area due to the continous industrial activities
  • A more precise valuation of Bois Rouge/WIG revenue potential could help Wagner earn around 2 million euros per year over 30 years
  • Artem Tolmachev, the initial commercial director, has been employed by two well-known Prigozhin affiliated companies: Service K LLC (like for Diamville) and Ferrum Mining LLC, which was a shareholder in a mining project in Madagascar now left abandoned. Bois Rouge/WIG is therefore fully affiliated to Prigozhin.
  • Service K LLC is an important structure within Prigozhin’s empire which overviews all human ressources aspects and staffing, especially to international operations.
  • Cameroon has become the logistics platform for the Wagner Group with IGL, a transporter based in Douala and where business and export are made.
  • European and International companies have fell prey to Wagner commercial activities with equipment supplied to Midas Ressources sarlu, Wagner’s gold mine, and European/International customers buying wood from Bois Rouge/WIG.
  • Wagner could buy for 936 675,05 euros of equipment from a European company and have sold so far wood with a custom registered value of 322 793,56 euros between 2022 and 2023 to European and International customers
  • Businesses and the logistics sector need to be briefed on Wagner’s commercial operations and tactics to conceal their ultimate beneficiary.

This investigation was done with discussion and support from CBS News. Watch their report.

Download our report in English

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