Seized logs came from licensed area
But licensee fined for breaking rules: Director
The Sabah Forestry Department yesterday congratulated the Marine Police for being resolute and alert that led to the seizure of a tugboat and scow that was laden with logs in Tawau, recently. “Their efficiency had resulted in the case being detected, which otherwise would have escaped our attention,” said the Department’s Director, Datuk Sam Mannan, in a statement, yesterday. He said that the case was immediately handed over to them for investigation. “We have since completed investigations and the investigation paper has been referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor’s (DPP) office for a decision, which has since been obtained. During the investigation, the Department found that the 314 pieces with a volume of 1429.60m3 came from a licensed area with a valid coupe-permit. “Royalties and all other prescribed charges on the logs have earlier been paid and the logs duty embossed with the required markings, such as property hammer mark, royalty payment mark and serial numbers were available,” he said. “However, markings on some logs, principally keruing species, have faded due to coverage by resins or dammar exuding from the log ends,” he said. Sam also noted that the logs had all the necessary documentations to prove legality such as timber disposal permits (TDP5) and a removal pass, issued on July23 this year and valid until July 24 this year for transportation to a mill in Tawau from Kalabakan. “Unfortunately, the skipper of the tugboat did not bother to obtain and carry on him the necessary transport documents (removal pass) or TDPs to prove ownership and legalities of the logs, on the excuse that he had to move the boat out of the river mouth in a hurry to avoid delays due to the receding tides on the day he was apprehended,” Sam revealed. He added that with the consent of the DPPs, the licensee has been penalised RM10,000 for breaching the Forest Rules 1969, pertaining to the transportation of forest produce. Similarly, the logs, tugboat and scow, are being returned to the owners as provided for under the Forest Enactment, 1968. “We hope to have continuous collaboration with the Marine Police in future,” Sam said.