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Police arrest illegal logging crew in Wulai area

Police arrest illegal logging crew in Wulai area

Taipei, Sept. 23 (CNA) Police in Taiwan have arrested a logging crew that was illegally cutting precious wood species such as stout camphors, incense cedars, redwoods and beeches in national forests in mountainous areas near Wulai in New Taipei. The nine people arrested Tuesday were found to have stockpiled around 10 tons of logs from the above mentioned trees, valued at an estimated NT$100 million. The stock included several incense cedar burls from trees that were 700 to 800 years old. Despite the fact that illegal logging carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, many consider it worth the risk because it is a lucrative business. Police said illegal logging crews typically operate during the typhoon season so that they can float the logs down the rivers when there is torrential rain and mudflows. They then collect the logs along the riverbanks and smuggle the wood to buyers, according to police. Under Taiwan's forestry laws, people may salvage driftwood along riverbanks one month after heavy rains or a storm, if local authorities have not removed the wood by then. However, the law states that logs defined as precious wood by the Council of Agriculture may not be gathered without permission. According to a police source, illegal logging has not only damaged Taiwan's precious wood resources, but also caused serious water and soil conservation problems. The huge mudslides that occurred in the Wulai area in August may have resulted from illegal logging, the source said. (By C.P. Liu and Lillian Lin)


Updated : 2021-06-14 23:49 GMT+08:00