ALOR SETAR (Bernama) – Nine men, including a Rohingya who holds a United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) card, were detained by the Kedah Forestry Department on Saturday for trespassing into the Koh Moi Forest Reserve, near Sintok, Kubang Pasu, and stealing logs, worth about RM200,000.
Kedah Forestry Deputy Director Abdul Ramli Izauyahhudin Ramli said the nine men, aged between 31 and 58, were detained during the operation, ‘Operasi Sempadan’, carried out with the Fifth Battalion Border Regiment (5RS) of the Malaysian Armed Forces.
“All of them attempted to flee, but were apprehended,” he said in a statement yesterday, adding that they were believed to have trespassed into the forest reserve since a month ago and had fell high value trees, such as meranti tembaga, sesenduk and kelat.
After felling the trees, the logs were cut into smaller pieces to buyers at lucrative prices, he added.
Abdul Ramli said 17 forestry personnel and seven 5RS members were involved in the raid, during which they also seized three four-wheel-drive vehicles, a motorcycle, a tree-cutting machine and six machetes.