200 kg of amber seized from Rivne region deputy and his accomplices – black diggers

200 kg of amber seized from Rivne region deputy and his accomplices – black diggers

Katerina Belousova

Amber was mined in the Rivne Reserve and the Klesiv Forest with the help of environmentally hazardous soil leaching

In the Rivne region, the police exposed eight members of the group, including one of the deputies of the territorial community, who organized the illegal mining, processing and sale of amber and seized 200 kg of stones from them.

According to preliminary data, the value of the amber is almost 4.5 million hryvnias, reports the press service of the of Ukraine.

It is noted that the perpetrators have established a network of mini-workshops for stone processing for its further sale abroad. For the extraction of amber, the technology of hydrowashing the soil, which is dangerous for the environment, was used. The stones were mined in the territories of the nature reserve and Klesiv Forestry.

The message said that all members of the group are residents of Sarna and Rivne districts. During the searches, 200 kilograms of raw amber, home-made motor pumps, tools for mining and processing stones, cars, a quad bike, radio stations and rough records were seized from them.

It is noted that three members of the group were discovered by law enforcement officers at the site of illegal amber mining. Near them there were self-made pumps with attached hoses and pits were dug.

The press service explained that members of the group also bought stones from other diggers. Purchased and mined stone was processed in underground workshops. In order not to draw too much attention to themselves, some of the participants organized mini-workshops in their homes: they imported amber in small batches, and kept the rest with their accomplices. For the sake of the conspiracy, the participants communicated with each other using walkie-talkies. Processed amber was sold abroad.

"The defendants may face up to 7 years in prison with confiscation of property," the statement said.

Earlier, EcoPolitic wrote, that in the fall of 2023, 50 hectares of forest are planned to be planted in Rivne region in areas damaged by illegal amber mining. In total, there are more than 4.5 thousand hectares of such damaged forest in the region.

As EcoPolitic previously reported, in Rivne region, the state enterprise "Forests of Ukraine" fired all branch directors due to chronic deep corruption problems. The personnel purges were announced after a deputy of the Rivne Regional Council, deputy director of the regional forest office, was caught in illegal enrichment. During the searches, 150 million hryvnias, 3.5 kg of gold, land plots with cottage buildings and other property were found and seized from him.

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