Illicit gem mining arrest in Bogo forest reserve
A gang comprising five illicit gem miners were arrested by Bogawantalawa Police last morning during a raid in the Mahaeliya Forest Reserve that forms part of the catchments of the Castlereigh Reservoir. Police said the illicit gem miners had cleared the forest and dug huge pits causing environmental damage to the forest reserve.
During the raid machinery and equipment used by the suspects had been seized by the police. OIC Bogawanthalawa Police CI K.c.dharmapriya said the suspects were from Chapelton Estate and that they were released on police bail pending legal action against them before the Hatton magistrate.
A police team under OIC Bogawantalawa Police carried out the raid on the instructions of Hatton SP Buddhi Udugamasuriya who had received several complaints regarding the damage caused to the forest reserve.