Lebak: The Banten Police has made sustained efforts to curtail illegal gold mining activities, including by shutting down 10 pits found inside the Mount Halimun Salak National Park (TNGHS) area, Lebak, Banten, on Friday, January 24, 2020.
"Today, we sealed 10 pits of the illegal mining site with a police line, and we are taking stern action against the illegal miners if they return to resume their unlawful activities," Head of the Operational Bureau of the Banten Provincial Police Senior Comissioner Aminudin Roemtaat stated.
According to Aminudin, members of Banten's anti-illegal gold mining task force, comprising military and police personnel as well as representatives of several related agencies in the province, closed the illegal mining pits.
He explained that Members of the task force conducted land patrols in the past three days by visiting the blocks of Cimari, Cirotan, Cidandak, Gunung Leutik, Muara Tilu, Bunung Masigit, Pasir Wiru, Sopal, Cigadang, Ciburuluk, Ciawitali, Cikatumburi, Pasir Ipis, Ciburiling, Cikopo, and Cimadur.
Some 302 personnel were deployed to conduct land patrols. They were segregated into two groups to track 16 pits where illegal mining activities were conducted in Citorek, Cibeber, Lebak.
Some of the sealed pits were found in the area of Citorek track. The total number of illegal pits may reach "hundreds" and are located in difficult areas.
In the meantime, Banten Police spokesman Senior Comissioner Edy Sumardi revealed that the anti-illegal gold mining task force had continued to probe those allegedly involved in these environmental crime-related offences. However, no arrests had yet been made since police investigators are still handling the case. They have questioned 12 witnesses.
Illegal mining activities have oftentimes been blamed to contribute to environmental damage that result in landslides and flash floods in various parts of Indonesia. (Antara)