Illegal sand mine exposed

A Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officer surveying the illegal sand mine yesterday. Pic by Syarafiq Abd Samad

AN illegal sand mining site on a 7.2ha government reserve land, near here, has been exposed.

(NST) – Because of the high demand for sand, the illegal operator, headed by a local man known as Din Kerbau, appeared unperturbed of the legal consequences  as it blatantly mined sand to be supplied to development projects in the Klang Valley.

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior commissioner Yusuf Zakaria said the site had been confirmed by the Selangor Water Management Board  as illegal and had been ordered to cease operations in October last year. However, the operators resumed operations early this month on a bigger  area.

Reporters, who were taken to the site at 6pm yesterday, had to go through several barriers, including a 10m-long  ditch, which is believed to have been dug near the entrance to deter uninvited visitors.  

The gate to the site was chained and had to be cut by officers from the Gombak Land and District Office yesterday.

At the site, a 2m tall sand dune blocked the access and visitors had to walk around it before being greeted by heavy machinery, including water jets.

The operators had attempted to hide three excavators in the woods some 500m from the entrance.  

Several craters had been formed  as a result of the mining and this had affected a nearby abandoned housing project.

Yusuf said the site was rampantly mined and the perpetrators were not afraid of legal action as the sand mining brought huge profits.

“Investigations started last year and we believe such activities are going on because of corruption.”