Sawmill in Jalan Cheras sealed

Story and photos by STUART MICHAEL metro@thestar.com.my

AN ILLEGAL sawmill in Jalan Cheras, which has been operating for two years, has been sealed by the Selangor Forestry Department.

The officers from the department conducted a raid on Thursday and found that the sawmill had not submitted documents for licences.

Activity halted: A lorry laden with logs going to the illegal sawmill in Cheras. Inset: The workers waiting for their permits to be checked by the authorities.

The owner’s son, known only as Kiong, said they would be applying for the licence within a week,

The department’s assistant director (Enforcement), Mohd Yussainy Md Yusop, said the sawmill employed 12 Bangladeshi workers, including an operations manager, who was paid RM3,000 a month.

“We have sealed all the machines used to cut the logs.

“If the owner applied for a licence, then we will allow the sawmill to operate again,” he said.

The department and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) conducted raids at several sawmills in Cheras and Semenyih and one was found without a licence.

Raiding party: Mohd Yussainy checking the load of a lorry.

Mohd Yussainy said only a few sawmills in Selangor were operating without licences.

“We will continue screening the sawmills to ensure all are licensed. Two years ago, many sawmill owners did not apply for licences from the department as the maximum fine was only RM2,000.

“Some of the illegal sawmill owners even paid the RM2,000 fine on the spot and another RM2,000 to renew their licences.

“Since the Forestry Enactment was amended in 2010, illegal sawmill owners can be fined up to RM50,000 or jailed five years or both.

“This is why there are more sawmills applying for licences to avoid being fined,’’ he said.

During the raid, the MACC officers were there to monitor if the forestry officials were offered bribes

Article Source http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/5/12/central/11272561&sec=central

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