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Vietnamese worker nabbed for suspected illegal logging

2017/04/02 18:54:47

(Photo courtesy of the police)

Taipei, April 2 (CNA) A runaway Vietnamese worker was nabbed Sunday by police in Chiayi County on suspicion of illegally logging and transporting cypress in the mountainous resort area of Alishan.

Chiayi police said they were on a routine patrol on a road near Alishan when the driver of an approaching black sedan suddenly changed direction after spotting the police car.

They then followed the car and stopped it before it reached a bridge linking Fengshan Village and Meishan Township, only to discover that the driver was a Vietnamese worker surnamed Chao who had run away from his job more than two years earlier.

They also found 34 small blocks of illegally harvested cypress worth several millions of Taiwan dollars stuffed into the back of the car, the police said, and Chao admitted that he was hired to drive the cypress logs down from the mountains.

Police will continue their investigation to identify the suspected criminal ring behind the illegal logging practice, they said.

The illegal logging ring may have thought it would be less likely to be caught with the police devoted most of their energy to directing traffic during the four-day Tomb Sweeping Day weekend and the annual cherry blossom season in Alishan, police suggested.

Police warned, however, that law enforcement operations against suspected illegal logging are ongoing and that the Fengshan area is a main focus of their efforts.

(By Huang Kuo-fang and Evelyn Kao)