PUTRAJAYA, Sept 14 — An Environmental Crime Prevention Unit (UCJAS) has been set up to curb environmental pollution issues in the country, says Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
The unit, expected to begin operation in early October, would involve cooperation between agencies under the ministry, namely the Department of Environment (DOE), the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) and the Biosafety Department, as well as the police.
He said the ministry’s enforcement agencies needed support in terms of logistics resources, forensic and intelligence expertise, manpower, and the consolidation of laws and jurisdiction.
“It is hoped the setting up of the unit will help prevent, curb and solve planned environmental crimes in Malaysia more effectively,” he said after the ministry’s meeting with the Home Ministry here, today.
He added the ministry would be holding discussions with the Public Service Department and the Finance Ministry as the unit would require additional posts and financial allocation.
According to Tuan Ibrahim, the United Nations classifies planned environmental crimes as the fourth biggest planned crime after drugs, money laundering, and human trafficking, which reached USD258 billion in 2016.
In the meeting today, he said it was agreed that the police would take immediate action against environmental criminals, as the enforcement power under the Environmental Quality Act 1974 and the Water Services Industry Act 2006 would be handed over to them.
He said the Biosafety Act 20017 enforcement power is already under the police.
Meanwhile, Tuan Ibrahim said the investigation paper on the Sungai Gong pollution case in Rawang, Selangor, has been submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chamber.
The incident on Sept 3, had caused water disruption to over five million users in Klang Valley.