HCM City’s districts join battle with illegal sand miners

HCM City (VNS/VNA) – The People’s Committees of Can Gio district and district
9 will join forces with public security agencies, border guards and
neighbouring provinces to fight illegal sand mining in Ho Chi Minh City.

The districts share borders with HCM City’s neighbouring provinces, making it difficult for them to tackle illegal sand mining by themselves. The Can Gio coast is reported to be badly hit by sand mining.

A representative of the Can Gio District People’s Committee said the mining is usually done at night, which makes it hard for authorities to detect it or deter offenders.

There have been cases of groups of illegal sand miners assaulting inspectors when they were detected.

Law enforcement agencies blame the increasing incidence of mining to lax regulations and enforcement and lack of stringent penalties.

Sand mining is only treated as illegal when more than 50 cubic meters are exploited.

Thus, when a case is detected, violators throw sand back into the sea to escape punishment.

In the first six months of the year 12 cases were detected on the Can Gio coast, and total fines of 278 million USD (12,000 USD) were collected.

Nguyen Van Thanh, Vice Chairman of the District 9 People’s Committee, said the district plans to collaborate with the city’s public security agencies, border guards and agencies in Dong Nai province’s Bien Hoa city and Binh Duong province’s Tan Uyen district to crack down on illegal sand mining.

Their cooperation would focus on exchange of information, supervision and prevention of violations, he said.

The district has asked market supervision teams to regularly inspect sand depots and other selling points around the city, he said.

Traders who fail to furnish certificates of origin for their sand would be reported to investigative agencies, he said.

In the first six months of the year public security agencies discovered 24 cases of illegal sand mining and seized 22 pumping machines, according to the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

Two people were prosecuted for illegal exploration and exploitation of natural resources.

The city’s border guards detected another 35 cases and seized 53 machines.-VNS/VNA

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