The police have recently discovered illegal gold mining activities near Sg Bole at the Ulu Segama-Malua Forest Reserve, Sabah that is believed to have been running for about 3 decades.
According to Berita Harian, the illegal gold mining operations is believed to have existed since the 90s. In the operation, the police have also discovered several underground tunnels in the area.
These tunnels were discovered during the Khazanah Integrated Operation (OBK) on 21 August, which involves the General Operations Force (GOF), Sabah wildlife department, Sabah forestry department, Sabah Parks, and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), as well as other agencies.
The team said that they found evidence of illegal gold mining in the forest reserve area in August, and this included underground tunnels and six mining areas stretching across 8km near Sungai Bole.
Meanwhile, they also found at least 103 holes in the ground, where were 10-17m deep, which are used as entry and exit points to the underground tunnels.
The OBK team also believes that the illegal gold mining activities have been going on sine the 1990s based on the evidence left behind.
The Sabah GOF brigade deputy chief Toipi Lamat, who is in the OBK field commanding officer, said the suspects could have been tipped off by movement in the area and escaped.
The enforcement teams also found 14 hunts built there, which is believed to be the lodgings of the suspects, and surrounding the huts are fruit and vegetable farms. There’s even a basketball court there.
Toipi also said they found 2 unreported deaths which involves 2 of the miners trapped in a collapsed tunnel. One is believed to have died in a fight, while another died of malaria.
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