Two foreigners caught stealing mangrove
Published on: Monday, December 16, 2019
By: Winnie Kasmir
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SANDAKAN: Two Filipino men were detained for intruding into the country and stealing mangrove in the Terusan Forest Reserve, Kinabatangan, about 80km from here, on Saturday.

They were arrested by an integrated enforcement team comprising the 15th Battalion of the General Operations Force (GOF) and Sabah Forestry Department.

PGA commanding officer, Supt Toipi Lamat, said the suspects, aged 34 and 55, who were detained at 7.30am, confessed that they entered the country from Cagayan Island, Philippines in a boat with four others a week ago.

“The boat went up a river in a mangrove swamp to drop off the suspects and then returned to the Philippines. 

“The suspects said they were paid to extract mangrove tree barks at 12 peso a kilogramme,” he said Sunday.

The tree bark produces tannin, which is often used as a skin tanner and also colouring ingredient for paint.

Toipi said also seized were tree barks (200kg), two axes, two parangs, a spade and a tool to peel off the tree barks.

He said four tents were also found and were destroyed by the personnel of the Sabah Forestry Department. The suspects and seized items were taken to the Sandakan District Police Headquarters for further action, he said.

Picture left shows the two foreigners (squatting) caught red-handed by enforcement officers stealing and extracting mangrove tree barks.



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