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Cop nabbed, illegal logging ring in Sarawak busted

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has busted an illegal logging activity in Sarawak, following the arrest of a senior police officer.

MACC deputy commissioner (operations) Mohd Shukri Abdul said the police officer is the head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of a police district headquarters in the state, and is believed to have received RM16,000 in bribes.

The commission has also frozen 30 accounts belonging to the 10 logging companies involved, totalling RM18 million. The bribes involved allegedly varies from RM300 to RM10,000 per transaction.

“Based on MACC’s observation for nine months, Sarawak had lost RM43 million to illegal logging. Each year, the losses are no less than RM100 million.

“Although the value of the bribes may seem small, but the impact of this act is huge,” Shukri told reporters in a press conference today.

To a question, he said MACC has investigated Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud but has not uncovered any links between him and this case.

He also confirmed that the MACC had charged an individual in court yesterday, while another four will be charged today.

Meanwhile, Shukri said the MACC had received 400 items of information with regard to illegal logging activities from 2009 until September 2014.

“We have monitored and investigated 12 locations in a few districts in Sarawak, which include Kuching, Limbang, Sibu, Miri, Kapit and Ulu Baram.

“From our investigations, we can confirm that there are illegal logging activities in Sarawak,” he said.

An operation, dubbed ‘Ops Tukul’ was undertaken with the cooperation of the police, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency as well as the Sarawak Forestry Department.

“Other than the loss of money, illegal logging activity has affected Sarawak’s environment and wildlife, as well as water catchment areas.

“There are even illegal loggers who chop off trees of high value which they are not supposed to,” he said.

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