Banda Aceh (ANTARA) - The Aceh police have cracked down on four illegal gold miners and seized an excavator from their mining pit in the Alue Kumara area of Pulo Lhoih Village in Geumpang Sub-district, Pidie District, a police officer said.

The arrested suspects are only identified by their initials: AG (24), KD (26), MT (38), and AA (25), Director of Aceh Police's Criminal Investigation Department Senior Commissioner Winardy said.

The suspects were apprehended following local residents' reports of their illegal mining activities that had caused environmental degradation, he said in a statement that ANTARA quoted here Sunday.

ANTARA noted that Aceh Province remains vulnerable to illegal gold mining activities.

In November 2020, for instance, police officers in Aceh District arrested seven traditional gold miners and shut down two illegal gold mining pits in the sub-districts of Sungai Mas and Pante Ceureumen.

The local cops also confiscated two excavators from the mining pits.

Environmental damage, resulting in landslides and flash floods in various parts of Indonesia, has oftentimes been attributable to illegal mining activities.

In this context, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) underscored the criticality of curbing illegal gold mining activities to help prevent the recurrence of natural disasters in the future.

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Translator: Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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