CIB col­lars eleven in north for cut­ting down old trees

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A to­tal of 11 al­leged tree poach­ers were ar­rested ear­lier this month in North­ern Tai­wan over charges of cut­ting down price­less old trees with­out per­mis­sion, the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Bureau (CIB) has an­nounced.

In a state­ment, the CIB said it re­ceived tips that a num­ber of trees of con­ser­va­tion value had been cut down by poach­ers in New Taipei’s moun­tain­ous Wu­lai Dis­trict and Sanxia Dis­trict.

A gang had re­port­edly re­cruited poach­ers by of­fer­ing free nar­cotics. If mem­bers wanted to leave, gang lead­ers would al­legedly threaten them with guns so they would not re­port the case to po­lice, the CIB said.

Af­ter months of in­ves­ti­ga­tions and stake­outs, lo­cal po­lice author­i­ties launched sep­a­rate raids in New Taipei and Taoyuan cities to ar­rest 11 mem­bers of an al­leged treepoach­ing ring, in­clud­ing its ring­leaders sur­named Wang ( ), Chen ( ) and Hung ( ) on Sept. 22.

Dur­ing raids, po­lice con­fis­cated three pis­tols, five bul­lets, 23 grams of am­phet­a­mine and around 1,000 wood blocks made from poached trees

The sus­pects claimed they sold the trees to many shops in New Taipei.

The poached trees are es­ti­mated to have a mar­ket value of sev­eral tens of thou­sands in New Tai­wan dol­lars, the CIB said.

The case is now be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Taipei Dis­trict Pros­e­cu­tors Of­fice, and the ring mem­bers are fac­ing charges re­lat­ing to the Vi­o­la­tion of the Or­ga­nized Crime Preven­tion Act and the Forestry Act.

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