Illicit timber racketeering busted

In a raid conducted on a timber mill situated in Kottawa by the officers from the Department of Forest Conservation, under the directions of the Conservator General of Forest, a large stock pile of kumbuk and jak timber has been recovered. Further investigations revealed that section of the kumbuk logs were converted in to planks. Later, when questioning about the timber, the owner has states that stock of the timber was transported during nighttime to his mill by a lorry and unloaded proximity to his house. According to him, the lorry owner had parked the vehicle in front of his house and left. He had further commented that neither he does have any idea about that nor who brought the timber. According to the type of the kumbuk wood and its sandy and dark color appearance on the lower section. The officers participated to the raid believed that origin of the kumbuk wood would be from the dry zone.

Further investigations could discover that they were transported to the mill by the lorry bearing No. LB-4581 from Monaragala area. It found that coir particles appeared all over the timber and a pile of coir also found nearby. Accordingly, it revealed that they have brought the timber by covering it with coir.

By the inspection of jak timber it was found that mill owner did not have even a license to transport jak timber. Therefore, officers proceeded to take them into custody. All the timber stock has been handed over to the State Timber Corporation (STC) and its value was assessed by the State Timber Corporation. Accordingly, kumbuk timber worth Rs. 1.41 million while jak wood valued Rs. 50,164.

The mill owner has imposed a fine of Rs 1,00,000 for pleading guilty and timber stock was confiscated. Forest Conservator General would take legal measures with regard to this mill. Officers participated to this raid were included Forest Conservator of Security and Low Enforcement Division, Mr. K.D.A. Jayasinghe, Conservator of the North West and Western Zone, Mr. M.S.U.P. Yalegama.