Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Police of the Hà Nội waterways traffic department and at the district level yesterday seized 15 boats operating illegally to extract sand from the Hồng (Red) River.
Seven boats -- four sand-mining boats, three carrying goods -- were found exploiting sand at 1am on the Hồng River section running through Thượng Cát Ward of Bắc Từ Liêm District
At the same time, on the river section belonging to Liên Hà Commune of Đan Phượng District, eight other boats, including those that were self-made, were caught at the spot extracting sand.
Three vehicles were without number plates.
According to Senior Lieutenant Colonel Nguyễn Văn Cương, deputy head of the Hà Nội waterways traffic police department, the seizure of those 15 boats is part of a plan by the director of the Hà Nội Police Department to strengthen inspection and penalties related to sand, gravel extraction and business on the city’s rivers.
Units under the waterways traffic police department are on patrol to monitor illegal mineral resources exploitation in the city, he said.
According to police investigators, illegal sand miners usually operate at night and use sand-mining equipment with high capacity to dredge sand, earning huge benefits from this illegal activity.
“Sand dredging can cause banks to collapse and change the flow of the river during the rainy season, putting people at risk and damaging dykes and riverside structures," Phạm Ngọc Tiến, deputy head of Hà Nội’ s Waterway Traffic Inspectorate, said.
Hà Nội, currently, has only 12 companies that are qualified for exploiting several grounds on the Hồng River. Thirteen other firms have been permitted by the Việt Nam Domestic Waterway Department to dredge the riverbed and use the material collected. — VNS