Viet Nam News
KIÊN GIANG – Illegal mineral exploitation in Phú Quốc district in Kiên Giang province has defied the local government for many years, reported online newspaper vov.vn.
Illegal exploitation has severely affected the district’s environment and risked public safety.
Dozens of unlicensed areas for exploitation of sand, gravel, and red soil exist along the road stretching from Đường Bào hamlet in Dương Tơ commune to An Thới township.
Exploiters have brazenly pitched tents for miners ignoring the authorities.
Recently, police apprehended groups of people transporting soil and red gravel in trucks without licenses in Suối Đá hamlet in Dương Tơ commune and Bến Tràm hamlet in Cử Dương commune.
Earlier this month, the police had caught several people red-handed while illegally exploiting minerals in Suối Mây hamlet in Dương Tơ commune.
Police officer Lê Hoàng Tuấn told the newspaper that “illegal mineral exploitation had been increasing because of the high demand of sand, red soil and gravel for construction”.
“Meanwhile, red soil on the island has become scarce,” he said.
According to Trần Văn Dũng, deputy chief of Phú Quốc Police, since the beginning of this year, the police have discovered 77 cases of illegal mineral exploitation, arrested 83 exploiters and seized 78 trucks along with other equipment.
The fine for illegal exploitation is VNĐ300 million (US$13,000), Dũng said.
Referring to measures to counter illegal mineral exploitation, he said the police would cooperate with other authorities to supervise mineral exploitation in the district.
He added that traffic police would enhance patrolling to monitor illegal exploitation and transportation of minerals.
However, local people say that illegal exploitation activities are being carried out more discreetly and artfully to avoid the authorities.
Besides, exploiters are not worried about lenient sanctions, they said. – VNS