IPOH, Jan 16 — Sixty-nine individuals were detained by the Perak Forestry Department over forest-related offences in the state last year.
The department in a statement today said those detained involved individuals and groups identified having committed offences under the National Forestry Act 1984, such as carrying out activities in the permanent forest reserves (HSK) without authorisation, entering the HSK without permission and taking out forest produce without the removal pass.
“Until November 2019, a total of 56 cases of forest offences were detected and acted upon under the National Forestry Act 1984 and the department collected penalty payment via compounds and compensation of more than RM1 million,” it said.
Eight forest-related offences were brought before the Ipoh Criminal (1) Sessions Court, Teluk Intan Sessions Court, Kuala Kangsar Sessions Court and Taiping Sessions Court, involving HSK infringement, staying in and entering the HSK without permission, and illegal possession of forest produce.
The total penalty for the eight offences was RM72,000.
According to the statement, the Perak Forestry Department conducted nine integrated enforcement operations involving various departments and enforcement agencies including the police, Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Road Transport Department, National Anti-Drugs Agency and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission last year.
“The department is also constantly carrying out surveillance and patrols in the HSK areas and hotspots, besides using the electronic geospatial forest system (e-GP) technology to monitor changes to these areas and any form of encroachment.
“The department is also using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones to monitor and detect any forest-related offences and illegal logging,” it said.
The statement said the department had mobilised the quick response team to carry out surveillance and patrolling by land, especially in the HSK areas to detect and ensure there were no illegal logging activities being carried out and no forest infringement or illegal exploration.
Forest enforcement operations by air were also carried out by helicopter in the southern part of Perak, Larut Matang, Hulu Perak, Kuala Kangsar and Kinta-Manjung districts.
“The department will reinforce the drone squad by adding on more state-of-the-art drones this year, to ensure the department’s efficiency in enforcement by air is being continuously upgraded,” it further said in the statement. — Bernama