Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Police can’t investigate without official report — Belaga OCPD

BINTULU: Belaga district police chief DSP Bakar Sebau said the police had detained four lorries in the Bakun area so far this year after they were found to be transporting illegally-harvested logs.

However, he added the police could only launch an investigation into allegations of illegal logging and gangsterism at Bakun lake if an official report was made.

Bakar was commenting on a front-page report in The Borneo Post yesterday that outsiders, including gangsters, have been illegally harvesting   logs with impunity at Bakun lake for the past 10 months.

He said the local police had not receive any report thus far regarding the allegations adding that the police were constantly monitoring illegal logging activities in the area and were working closely with the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).

“Report to the police if any suspicious activities, including illegal logging and gangsterism, occur in your area so that we can investigate and find out whether or not there is any basis to the allegations,” he said when contacted.

The activities were said to have struck fear among locals looking for fish, wild animals and jungle produce to make a living, compelling their community leaders to call on the relevant enforcement agencies to tackle the problem.

Representatives of the Orang Ulu in Belaga, led by Pemanca Umek Jeno, Pemanca Tony Kulleh and Pemanca Ajang Sirek, had expressed concern over the possibility of untoward incidents occurring among the locals, or between rival business groups, over the illegal activity.

The Belaga OCPD also disclosed that the police had only received one report from the Bakun area made by a group of individuals on August 18, but said it was not related to the allegations.

“As of today (yesterday), we have not received any report involving threats, intimidation or assaults in the area,” he stressed.

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