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 "This is the first stage," - Avakov on apprehension of amber diggers in Rivne region

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says that today's detention of miners at an "amber Klondike" in the Rivne region is the first stage of the fight against illegal amber mining in protected areas.

The minister said it at a briefing in Kyiv, Censor.NET reports.

"This is the first stage. I purposefully speak the language of announcements, as the task of the police is not only to detain, curb but also to prevent," Avakov said.

See more: Group of illegal miners detained, armored vehicle seized in special operation against 'amber mafia' in Rivne region. PHOTOS

Earlier, the issue of illegal amber extraction in the territory of the Zhytomyr, Rivne, and Volyn regions spread last year. Thousands of locals and out-of-towners started mining amber illegally and indiscriminately, thus savagely destroying local ecosystems.

This year's scale of illegal extraction was so large that the authorities were forced to deploy the National Guard of Ukraine detachments in these regions.

The law enforcement agencies have been increasingly reporting about arrests of large-volume amber dealers.

According to experts, this problem can be resolved not only by raids against the illegal miners, but also by a legislative initiative. The Volyn Regional Council authorized a company to develop amber for the first time in May 2015.

Yesterday, July 4, law enforcers conducted a large-scale operation titled 'Burshtyn' (amber) in the Rivne region, with participation of more than 400 field investigators. Deputy head of Rivne regional prosecutor Andrii Borovyk has been detained. The National Police also informed that an amber mafia boss was detained in Kyiv. Prosecutor General Yurii Lutsenko announced of his intentions to dismiss Rivne regional prosecutor Anatolii Kovalchuk.
 
 
 
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