Crime & Courts

45 detained during 'Op Sekat' at illegal durian farms in Raub

BENTONG: Forty-five durian planters, including foreigners, were detained during "Op Sekat", a special operation against illegal durian farming activities in Raub, since it was launched on April 30.

Pahang police chief Datuk Seri Yahaya Othman said the suspects were nabbed during the joint operation held with the Pahang enforcement unit team and Forestry Department for encroaching into government land, and failing to adhere to the court ruling.

"The ongoing 'Ops Sekat' involves 201 policemen. The operation is conducted at eight locations in Raub including the main focus areas which are farms located in Sungai Ruan, Tranum, Ulu Dong and Tras.

"Since April 30, a total of 44 motorcycles, 12 pick-up trucks, four lorries, four tractors, four backhoes and two excavators have been seized by the authorities.

"Those detained were probed under various offences under the National Land Code 1965, National Forestry Act 1984 and Immigration Act 1959/63. So far, 50 investigation papers were opened," he said during a press conference streamed live through the Bentong police official Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Yahaya said since the forest area involved in durian cultivation was huge, the authorities were also conducting aerial surveillance.

"The forest consists of both lowlands and hilly areas so apart from checks on the ground, we have deployed aerial monitoring. Trenches measuring between 2.5m and 4m high were dug at selected locations to protect forest areas from encroachment," he said.

He reminded all quarters to respect the Court of Appeal's decision last month and wait for any further ruling, and not take matters into their own hands by going against the law.

On May 28, the Court of Appeal dismissed the application by 131 Musang King durian farmers to maintain their orchards in Raub.

Op Sekat was initiated after the Kuantan High Court rejected a judicial review application by 186 durian farmers in Raub on April 24 over an eviction notice served by the Pahang government in 2020.

Last month, Raub member of parliament Chow Yu Hui and Save Musang King Alliance chairman Wilson Chang were among those who provided their statements to police over allegations of obstructing public servants from discharging their duties during 'Ops Sekat' at Sungai Ruan near here on April 30.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories