Man arrested in connection with illegal logging activities

Zarina Abdullah

KUALA TERENGGANU: A 54-year-old man was arrested in Kampung Sungai Tong today in connection with illegal logging activities at the Lata Payong recreation area in Setiu.

State Forestry Department director Datuk Ahmad Fadzil Abdul Majid said yesterday, a team comprising four enforcement officers, two soldiers and four Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) officers were patrolling Lata Payong when spotted a vehicle laden with timber.

“Suspecting something amiss, they stopped the vehicle and questioned the three men inside, at about 10.30pm,” he told the New Straits Times.

Soon after, Fadzil said, a group of men, believed to be known to the trio in the vehicle, arrived in a Perodua Viva and a Perodua Kenari.

The men then surrounded the enforcement officers and even threatened to burn the Perhilitan vehicles.

“One of them said they will burn the department’s vehicle if the team refused to leave the scene,” he said, adding that to calm the tense situation his men gave way and left.

“Following a tip-off, we managed to track down one of the suspects at his home this morning at around 7am. He was taken to the Sungai Tong police station for further questioning,” he added.

The team also managed to seize 33 large pieces of logs in the morning raid after they were led to an orchard near the village where the logs were hidden.

“Initial investigations showed that the suspect had no valid logging licence, and the case is being investigated under Section 84 of the National Forestry Act 1984 for unlawful possession of forest products,” he said.