Three men arrested for encroaching on Ulu Galas Permanent Forest Reserve

Three men arrested for encroaching on Ulu Galas Permanent Forest Reserve

KOTA BHARU, Jan 21: The Kelantan Forestry Department (JPNK) arrested a local man last Monday in an operation codenamed ‘Op Bersepadu Khazanah’ for hiring two Myanmar nationals to plant banana and durian trees at the Ulu Galas Permanent Forest Reserve, Gua Musang.

Its director, Abdul Khalim Abu Samah said the arrest was made after an inspection made on Compartment 21 of the forest reserve at 4 pm on Jan 18 found encroachment activities from the signs of burning of vegetation and applying of herbicide, as well as illegal planting of fruit trees.

He said when the raid was conducted, the two Myanmar nationals who were also holders of the UNHCR card admitted to being paid for farming there by their employer.

“We also found a kongsi house as accommodation for the two workers at the location.

“Their 34-year-old employer who originates from Johor was detained when he came to the JPNK office after his two workers were interrogated,“ he said at a news conference held at his office in Kota Darul Naim, here, today.

Abdul Khalim said the employer was, however, released on police bond and the two workers also released because of their status as UNHCR card holders.

He said the employer had committed an offence under Sections 47(1), 81(e) and 82(1) of the National Forestry Act 1984 for ordering the two workers to enter the permanent forest reserve and clearing and burning the vegetation illegally.

On another case, Abdul Khalim said two men including a Pakistan national were detained one day later at 3.45 pm during an inspection conducted at Compartment 23 of the Ulu Galas Permanent Forest Reserve.

He said the 61-year-old local man was believed to be involved in illegal clearing work at the forest and he failed to produce any document to enter the area, while the Pakistani man claimed to there to do some business.- Bernama