11:23 May. 18, 2016
Four zones of mining operations revealed in Ukraine's Zhytomyr and Rivne regions
Ukraine's State Border Guard Service has released a video showing at least four places of the illegal amber mining operations in western Rivne and north-western Zhytomyr regions.
Despite the regular raids by security forces, a number of arrests, and hundreds of kilograms of amber confiscated on a monthly basis, the illegal diggers carry out their work to smuggle the gem stone abroad.
Watch also Ukraine's forests on the verge of extinction
The amber mining is also devastating for the forests of Ukraine.
The country's Interior Ministry says the trade is controlled by criminal enterprises that make hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars a year.
Police say they don't have the resources to stop the operations, but activists say local officials are corrupt and are being paid off by the gangs.