Tuesday July 1, 2008 - The Star
Cops seize RM5mil logs
MIRI: The Sarawak marine police have seized more than RM5mil worth of illegal logs, barges and logging equipment from timber smugglers during raids in Bintulu in central Sarawak and Limbang in the northern region. State marine police chief Asst Comm Taib Sapok said more than 2,000 illegal logs were seized during the raids between June 21 and 29.
He said they had also foiled diesel smuggling in Kuching in the southern half of the state over the past few days, with fuel worth more than RM200,000 recovered from illegal buyers.
“We have increased our surveillance and patrols considerably throughout the state as we have anticipated an increase in crime due to the high price of fuel and the cost of other materials.
“From Jan 1 to now, we have already recorded more than 510 criminal cases, mostly smuggling.
“For the whole of last year, we recorded 586 cases. The crime rate has increased considerably this year,” he told reporters in Bintulu.
In the Bintulu raid, marine police intercepted tugboats and barges in the Kemena River four days ago and found 1,776 logs that had been illegally felled in the interior.
In Limbang, another marine police unit foiled attempts by a syndicate there to smuggle more than 700 logs.
ACP Taib said 115 suspected criminals had been arrested during the past 10 days during the raids.
He also warned that the marine police would beef up enforcement to weed out illegal foreign workers, who were resorting to using express boats in an attempt to evade detection.