Photo from UNIAN Chief of Ukraine&#39;s National Police Serhiy Knyazev says that making illegal mining of amber a serious crime would help solve this problem. "First of all, it is necessary to step up criminal liability for violation of the rules for the protection of mineral resources. Amending the Criminal Code to make this type of offence a serious or very serious crime would make it possible to more effectively document the activities of organizers and executors of such illegal business," he said when accompanying Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a working visit to Zhytomyr region, according to the National Police&#39;s press service. Read alsoZelensky urges SBU, police chiefs in Zhytomyr region to quit due to situation with illegal amber extraction The next step, he said, could be the introduction of criminal liability for the sale of illegally mined amber. Currently, only miners of amber and those who transport it – these are ordinary performers – are made liable, while persons involved in the illegal purchase of amber, its storage and sale avoid such liability. "An important measure to prevent the illegal extraction of amber is the legislative regulation of this activity. This process was stipulated in the draft law on production and sale of amber, which passed its first reading in parliament in 2015, but the bill was not approved in February 2017," Knyazev recalled. According to him, the bill clearly defined conditions to make such business legal with regulated and simplified licensing procedures. "In the absence of a relevant regulatory act, we have many miners working unlawfully, and there are only two state-owned enterprises that are licensed to mine amber," Knyazev emphasized. At the same time, he says, the enterprises are in a state of stagnation and actually are not profitable because of a constant turnover of employees and top managers. But the national budget loses about UAH 600,000, or US$23,900, per tonne of illegally mined amber. "According to rough estimates, miners in Rivne region alone should pay UAH 20 million, or US$800,000, in taxes per year and UAH 30,000, or US$1,195, per hectare of rented land to the local budget," he said.