Sibu sawmill manager, company fined for possessing illegal logs

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A handout photo from UKPS showing some of the seized logs.

KUCHING (March 29): A sawmill manager and a company, represented by its director, were today fined RM25,000 each by a Sibu Sessions Court for having possession of illegal logs.

They were also ordered to pay the Sarawak government a penalty of another RM44,450 by virtue of Section 96 (3) of the Forest Ordinance 2015 (Chapter 71).

Section 96 (1) or the ordinance was also read together with Sections 79 (2), 96 (3), 98 and 99.

They committed the offence around 8.45am on May 6, 2019 when officers from the Sarawak Security and Enforcement Unit (UKPS) together with officers from the Forestry Department, Police Department and General Operation Force intercepted the offloading activities of 458 illegal logs at the sawmill belonging to Syarikat Kilang Papan Tanjong Engkilo (1980) Sdn Bhd at Jalan Sungai Maaw in Sibu.

Presiding Sessions Court Judge Marutin Pagan also ordered that two excavators and a forklift, being evidence, to be seized and disposed of by the state government.

The two accused were represented by Counsels Ben Lau, Danny Huang and Victor Lau, while UKPS by DPP Ronald Felix Hardin and prosecutor from the State Attorney-General Chambers, Christie Sereni Philimon.

Separately in a press statement, UKPS director Datu Dr Chai Khin Chung said such offence was serious and appropriate action must be taken against it to deter other would-be offenders.

He then thanked all the agencies which had worked closely together to secure the conviction of any illegal logging offenders in Sarawak.