Loggers caught smuggling gemstones in West Fataleka



Picture of gem stones found in Solomon Islands

MORE than 70 bags of gemstones have been confiscated from a container belonging to a logging company operating in West Fataleka, Malaita province.

Landowners recently found a logging company collecting gem stones in secret under the ostensible covering of logging.

A concerned Malaitan, Mr Francis Baeburi explained landowners caught the logger after investigating a ‘secret business’ which the loggers were involved in aside from their logging operation.

They then found the bags of gemstones hidden in the barricade of a container.

“The landowner at once demanded the loggers to remove the bags, as it is only appropriate under the agreement that log are the only resource to be harvested,” Baeburi said.

Baeburi cautions landowners across the country to be wary of loggers operating in their lands, saying they might be victims to these extra ‘secret businesses’.

Administrator of popular Facebook Yumi Toktok Forum, Mr Benjamin Afuga said their shared views debated are the beginning of any change to any legislation.

“We just cannot sit back, relax and expect things to happen, look at what is happening to our resources like gem stone, the so-called loggers are smuggling bags without any slightest benefit for LOs and province,” Afuga said.

He urges community leaders to work hard to lobby for legislation changes.

He said Malaita province has 14 members of Parliament which is a huge number to support for any push for changes in legislation.

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