Illegal loggers have no qualms about harming enforcers to evade arrest
CHECKING and tracking illegal logging activities in Terengganu have become dangerous for enforcement officers of the state Forestry Department who are faced with armed gangs who have no qualms about hurting them.
The March 18 incident in Kampung Serdang, fringing the Bukit Bauk Forest Reserve in Dusun, where an officer and a mechanic were shot at and injured, serves as a reminder of how desperate these culprits were when trying to escape arrest.
Usually acting on tip-offs, the officers would face the first obstacle in the form of or spies hired by the illegal loggers to warn of the department’s movements. The illegal loggers would disappear long before the officers could reach them.
Sometimes, these officers would move in on their own on short notice without the support of the General Operations Force or the police.
Mounting an ambush and waiting stealthily in the jungle, sometimes for days, is not how most people would want to spend the weekend.
There are other dangers, too, such as snakes, scorpions, tigers, elephants and quicksand.
Having followed these officers on their operations, I can say these men are truly heroes in protecting the nation’s resources and their safety must be a priority.
Although early investigations showed that they were shot at with an air rifle with ball bearings as bullets, they were nonetheless injured and needed protection. What if those were real bullets?
Natural Resources and Environment