CIB collars eleven in north for cutting down old trees
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.