Jakarta. Indonesian police have arrested six people for working in the gold mines of Riau without a permit.
The illegal miners were caught red-handed while digging for gold in Pantai village and were subsequently brought to the Kuantan Singigi Police station for questioning, said Riau Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Guntur Aryo Tejo.
Police found a diesel generator and mining equipment at the site.
Illegal gold mining has long been a problem in the area, Guntur added, but lack of proper security and the allure of profiting from the precious metal have encouraged miners to return and risk arrest.
Illegal miners often use hazardous substances to extract precious metals from the soil, which then end up in the environment.
“Local residents do not approve of this. They are aware that the illegal mining is putting the ecosystem in danger. Most of the miners come from other areas,” Guntur said on Tuesday, as quoted by state-run news agency Antara.
Kuantan Singigi Police arrested dozens of illegal miner in May alone, he added.