Sawmill company director, manager in Sibu fined RM50k for illegal timber possession

A file photo of seized illegal timber.

KUCHING, March 29: A sawmill company director and a sawmill manager in Sibu were fined RM25,000 each by Sibu Sessions Court today for illegal possession of timber.

Sarawak Security and Enforcement Unit (UKPS) said both men were also ordered to pay RM44,450 to the Sarawak Government by the Sessions Court in accordance with Section 96(3) of the Forest Ordinance 2015 (Chapter 71).

According to UKPS, on May 6, 2019, UKPS together with personnel from Sarawak Forestry Department, Battalion 10 of the General Operations Team (PGA) and Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) stopped the unloading of 458 illegal logs at the sawmill in Jalan Sungai Maaw at 8.45am.

“Based on the facts of the case, both parties from Sibu committed an offence under Section 96 (1) of the Forest Ordinance 2015 (Chapter 71) for illegally possessing forest products and read together with Sections 79 (2), 96 (3), 98 and 99 of the same Ordinance,” it said in a statement today.

It added, both the manager and the director were represented by counsels Ben Lau, Danny Huang and Victor Lau while the prosecution was handled by Deputy Public Prosecutor Ronald Felix Hardin and Prosecution Officer Christie Sereni Philimon from the Sarawak State Attorney General’s Chamber.

“Judge Marutin Pagan also ordered that two excavators and a forklift be confiscated as evidence and handed over for disposal by the government,” it said.

Meanwhile, UKPS director Datu Dr Chai Khin Chung emphasised that illegal timber possession and logging are serious offences and strict action should be taken.

He was also grateful for the cooperation of the Sarawak Forestry Department, Sarawak Forestry Corporation and PDRM for efforts to eradicate illegal logging activities in Sarawak. — DayakDaily