10 arrested for illegal logging in Maludam National Park

Cutting chainsaw. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, July 30: Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) together with 10th Battalion General Operation Force (GOF) and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) successfully nabbed 10 suspects who were found encroaching in a national park.

The arrests resulted from patrols under Operasi Bersepadu Khazanah at Maludam National Park from July 24-28.

According to a post uploaded by SFC on Facebook, during a patrol on July 25 around 10am, the team arrested eight suspects red-handed and seized seven chainsaws and 347 logs of different sizes and species.

“Eight bicycles and nine motorbikes that were used to transport logs were also seized,” the post read.

Later, two more suspects in possession of chainsaws, two bicycles and motorbikes were arrested. While scouring the areas surrounding the national park, the enforcement team found 45 more logs.

Meanwhile, outside the national park, the team also detained a lorry which was carrying 257 logs and raided an oil palm plantation and confiscated 33 logs, a lorry, two motorbikes, a band saw machine, a band saw, genset, and a trolley.

These cases were handed over to Forest Department Sarawak for further investigation.

SFC chief executive officer Zolkipli Mohamad Aton who is also the Controller of National Parks and Nature Reserves revealed five police reports have been made, and the ten suspects are currently on police bail.

They will be further investigated under the National Parks and Nature Reserves Ordinance 1998.

“We will not tolerate any trespassing, hunting and encroachment into the Totally Protected Areas and those caught will be brought to justice,” he added.

Members of the public with information on similar illegal activities are urged to contact the authority concerned like Forest Department Sarawak or SFC hotlines at 016-8565564/019-8859996 (Kuching), 019-8883561 (Sibu), 019-8223449/019-8332737 (Bintulu) and 019-8290994/018-9799778 (Miri). — DayakDaily