Police in Savannaket have apprehended four suspects on the charges of illegally mining gold and malachite in Vilabouly District.
News Vilabouly reports that police in the district arrested four villagers, including a woman, when they were trying to transport gold and malachite from a mine nearby.
Lieutenant Colonel Sithideth Phuttavong, Deputy Head of Police Headquarters in Vilabouly District, said that residents had earlier reported to the police that a group of villagers were attempting to illegally mine precious minerals at the district’s mining sites.
The police inspected and searched the group and the vicinity, discovering 41 tons of gold, a truck without a license plate, three modified vehicles, and several mobile phones.
The four suspects told the police that due to the financial constraints of their families, they agreed to transport, hide, and store the minerals for which they were paid LAK 50,000 per trip.
Before the arrest, the driver and passengers of a pickup truck who had come to purchase minerals managed to flee the scene.
The district’s police officers will further investigate the incident and focus on bringing the suspects to trial as per the law.
In February 2022, two people were rescued after getting trapped in a mine shaft while illegally mining gold and malachite at Sepon in Savannakhet Province.