ST Catherine police are carrying out more investigations to determine the scale of the illegal sand-mining operation that was uncovered last week in Bernard Lodge.
Police say they suspect that a number of business organisations, including hardware stores and landscapers, were benefiting from the underground operation that criminals were using to earn money to purchase guns and fund their deadly activities.
"We suspect that sand removed from the location was being sold to a number of hardware stores in and around the parish," one detective assigned to the case said.
The police also believe that the sand was used in the construction of several housing schemes in the sunshine city of Portmore.
"Based on information, we suspect that sand removed from the location was used in the construction of at least three established housing schemes, two in Portmore and one in Hellshire Heights," detectives said.
According to the police, the information comes as they question a businessman who was held with five other men during a raid at the site.
"The businessman, who was arrested, is an established business operator and a well known player in the construction industry," said one member from the police team who carried out a three-hour tour at the location on Friday.
Last Wednesday, a group of heavily armed police swooped down on the location in Bernard Lodge, estimated to be the size of 15 football fields.
Four trucks and one tractor were seized.
Detectives say they have discovered that, in addition to sand-mining, gang members in the parish have branched off into the illicit waste disposal business.
During a search of the location, craters as large as 25 feet were found.
"We suspect that more than 8,000 to 10,000 cubic metres of sand, silt and top soil, valued in the millions, were removed," said officials from the National Land Agency (NLA).
Police say the craters that were left on the property were used as dumping sites.
"Criminals, for a price of $1,000, were collecting garbage from residents and dumping the waste into the craters left at the site," the police said.
Last week, during a tour of the location with officials from the NLA and the Office of the Commissioner of Mines, concern was also raised about the safety of the suspected housing schemes the sand may have been used to build.
The sand, in many areas, was of poor quality and not fit for construction, the experts said.
Earlier this year, the Office of the Commissioner of Mines said illegal sand-mining in sections of the country was still posing a problem to the department, despite efforts to stem the practice.