Border guard officers in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh have seized nine boats and arrested their crew members for the illegal exploitation of sand this month.
Officers from the border guard office in Van Ninh Commune, Mong Cai City caught five iron-hull ships red-handed mining sand against the law along the local coast at around 0:15 on Saturday.
More than 100 cubic meters of sand had been pumped onto the five boats.
At the police station, owners of the vessels and their crew members admitted their wrongdoing, explaining that the sand would be later sold at VND50,000 (US$2.2) per cubic meter to local residents for their constructions.
On April 9, the border guard officers apprehended four similar ships after they had exploited nearly 30 cubic meters of sand off Hai Dong Ward in Mong Cai City.
|The ships are seized over their illegal exploitation of sand. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
These ships, weighing 50 to 70 metric tons, were equipped with numerous pumps and often carried out their illicit sand exploitation at midnight, according to local residents.
As of December 21, 2017, authorities in Quang Ninh Province had dealt with 180 cases of illegal sand mining and confiscated over 23,000 cubic meters of sand, according statistics by the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
The Quang Ninh People’s Committee is working with their counterparts in neighboring Bac Giang, Hai Duong, and Lang Son Provinces as well as Hai Phong City to establish a cooperation mechanism to better manage the exploitation of sand in the region.