Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Six lorry drivers ferrying illegally felled logs held

SUCCESSFUL OPERATION: Six lorries loaded with 176 logs seized in Belaga.

BELAGA: The police in Belaga scored another major success after they arrested six lorry drivers as they were trying to transport suspected illegally felled logs out of town last Saturday.

This is one of their biggest successes against the rampant illegal logging taking place in the upper reaches of the Rejang.

Last May, the police also launched a successful operation where they arrested three lorry drivers for a similar offence and handed them over to Sarawak Forestry Corporation for further action.

Belaga police chief DSP Bakar Sebau yesterday confirmed the arrest, saying they had also seized 176 logs loaded from the six lorries.

“Both the lorries and the logs have been seized. The drivers have been released on police’s bail after questioning.”

Bakar said  the  action  was carried out in accordance with Section 186 of Sarawak Forestry Ordinance that empowered them to arrest the criminals and seize the illegally felled logs.

He said the ordinance also empowers the officers of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation to investigate the crime, and therefore, they would soon be handed the case for further action.

The police chief said he was concerned with the rampant illegal logging taking place presently.

He said they might consider resorting to using the Emergency Ordinance if the situation continued to worsen.
“Belaga has an area of 19,403.27 sq km, which is about the size of Pahang. The people should cooperate with us to expose the illegal felling in this vast rainforest area.”

He said the rugged terrain might make it difficult for them to check on the crime, but the police would set up roadblocks to prevent the logs from being smuggled out.

He said they would also resort to other means to stop the crime, but the police chief did not want to specify details so as not to jeopardise their actions.

Bakar also did not reveal where the seized logs had been felled as the probe was still on going.

He hoped members of the public would give the police information to assist them in stopping this illegal activity in green Belaga.

Source: The Borneo Post

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