The Lacey Act is a 1900 US law that bans trafficking in illegal wildlife. In 2008, the Act was amended to include plants and plant products such as timber and paper. This landmark legislation is the world’s first ban on trade in illegally sourced wood products.

"We have documented the devastating environmental, economic, and human impacts of illegal logging in Peru for years," stated Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) executive director Alexander von Bismarck.

While illegal wood imports have dropped at least 32% since the Lacey Act was passed, experts estimate that the US continues to import up to US$3bn in illegal timber every year.

The Department of Homeland Security agents are probing whether privately held Global Plywood & Lumber Inc violated US and Peruvian law by importing wood that officials says was taken from the Amazon without proper permits, according to the warrant filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego.

No charges have been brought against the company. A Homeland Security spokesperson in Houston said the investigation was ongoing.