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Trio detained over illegal sand mining activities

IPOH: Three men were caught for allegedly stealing some 20 metric tonne of sand during a raid at Tebing Tinggi, Selama, about 120km from here.
Perak Land and Mines Department assistant director Kamarulariffin Ayub said two lorry drivers were stopped from leaving a mining site while an excavator operator was caught trying to mine sand.
"Our enforcement officers stopped two lorries that were leaving a mining site during non-operation hours at 7.30pm, which was against regulation.
"The operation time allowed for mining and transferring of stoneworks is between 8am and 6pm, in accordance with regulations set by the department," Kamarulariffin said.
One of the lorry drivers even tried to deceive enforcement officers by showing a docket purportedly issued by the Kedah Land and Mines Department director, he added.
"After interrogating the lorry drivers, they told us where the mining operation was located," he said.
Kamarulariffin said enforcement officers have been monitoring the illegal activity for some time.
"Our intelligence team has been gathering information on the matter and had planned for an ambush.
"They have been operating for about two weeks," he said, adding that some 2,000 metric tonne of sand were believed to have been stolen.
Kamarulariffin said they often faced challenges during operations to stop illegal mining activities.
"Our enforcement officers were often tailed by tontos and they would tip off the workers at the site," he added.
During the operation, Kamarulariffin said the tontos tried to stop enforcement officers from seizing an excavator that was in the process of mining the sand.
"There was also a sand pump that was being used. We contacted the command centre to request for backup," he said, adding that the Selama police were called in to assist in the operation.
Kamarulariffin said after the police arrived, enforcement officers then managed to seize the excavator and sent it to the Selama district land office.
"We are still trying to remove the sand pump to be brought back to the land office.
"We have recorded statements from the three men and lodged a police report," he said, adding that 20 enforcement officers and eight policemen were involved in the operation.
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