NGHE AN (VNS)— Nearly 1,000 illegal gold exploiters have been expelled from the central province of Nghe An's Que Phong District in a crackdown by local police.
It was the biggest crackdown of its kind so far in the province, said the deputy director of the provincial police, Nguyen Huu Cau.
During the past year, illegal gold mining has become a hot problem around Huoi May Village, Cam Muon Commune.
The work caused public disorder and pollution, and there was also a high risk of fatal accidents, said Cau.
Investigations by local police found that everyday, 800-1,000 people descended on the village to search for gold. Most came from the northern province of Thai Nguyen.
In an effort to control the issue, the crackdown started last Thursday with the participation of 80 local officials from district and provincial people's committees and 70 police.
Checking an area of 1,000sq.m across Khe Hang Hill, the police dismantled 60 tents set up by gold exploiters, seized 25 machines used for sifting gold and 2,000 litres of diesel oil.
The equipment was confiscated by police, who will continue to look into the case and punish any officials who had a hand in the activity.
To maintain public order, the Nghe An People's Committee has sent a document asking Que Phong District and Cam Muon Commune authorities to strengthen management of the area and prevent illegal gold exploitation from reoccurring.
Environment and mineral protection measures must also be taken.
A report on this work should be submitted to the provincial people's committee before the end of this month.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment has been assigned to set up a long-term plan to manage gold mines, which are often illegally exploited in the province. — VNS