Interior Minister Arsen Avakov wrote on Facebook, Censor.NET informs.
"A multi-purpose light-armored towing vehicle has been seized in special operation of the National Police. These pictures were not taken in the anti-terrorist operation zone. They were taken in the Rivne region today. Dnipro-1 special operations detachment carried out air surveillance of this swamped reserve territory located far away from the villages. The law enforcers found the illegal amber mining several days ago. The drones were attacked and two of the three were shot down. And this is not the front line. The images showed numerous armed men, a terrifying picture of the devastated reserve, and armored vehicles," the Interior Minister wrote.
According to him, the National Police special operations detachments came to the distant islands in the Rivne Reserve (swamps impassable to men in Rokytnivskyi district - Avakov) on the morning of July 13 and detained a group of illegal miners who resisted arrest.
"The multi-purpose light-armored towing vehicle has been seized and several people have been detained," Avakov wrote.
" 'We must rescue our guys and recapture armored vehicles!' That's how 'amber mafia' thugs tried to lead on the locals. I should urge people in advance not follow the bandits' provocations for we are dead set to restore the rule of law in this "Klondike". There will be no more destruction of nature, slave labor, 'amber lords' with their own set of laws, own army and own vassals. The Interior Ministry will not allow the rule of 'amber' or 'banana' gangs inside Ukraine. We will continue establishing order in this 'amber clique'," he wrote.
According to the Interior Minister, the additional police and National Guard units will be sent to the sites of riots if necessary.
"The operations to restore order will go on! I very much expect that my colleagues ministers will submit new laws adequately regulating amber extraction as fast as possible (I know that they are almost drafted)!! We need them badly! I express appreciation to Rivne Police Head Serhii Kniaziev, SOF soldiers and officers for their support to the state's stance!" Avakov summed up.
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.
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 dismissed Rivne regional prosecutor Anatolii Kovalchuk July 7.
Related materials: Amber mafia