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Man indicted for selling imported ants online

2019/04/09 21:48:39

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, April 9 (CNA) The Changhua District Prosecutors Office indicted a 23-year-old man Tuesday for selling illegally imported ants online.

The man, identified only by his surname Liao (廖), is a beverage vendor in the county's Hemei Township who was found to have purchased more than 10 species of foreign ants from overseas websites since last March, according to the indictment.

Liao promoted and sold on his Facebook page the live ants at a price of NT$3,200 (US$103.8) for one queen and dozens of worker ants, and also opened an account on an auction website to expand his ant business, the prosecutors office said.

Because he imported and distributed foreign ant species without permission, Liao was charged for violating the Plant Protection and Quarantine Act and faces a penalty of up to three years in jail and a fine of up to NT$150,000 if convicted, prosecutors said.

Citing Lin Chung-chi (林宗岐), a professor of biology at National Changhua University of Education, the Apple Daily tabloid said the ants Liao had imported illegally were mostly regarded as destructive insects, with some species posing a threat to woodland and crops, while others were described as aggressive and venomous to humans.

Lin warned that the imported ants could reproduce very easily in Taiwan because there are no predators to control their populations, and that they could also carry disease into the country because they were not quarantined, the report said.

(By Wu Jhe-hao and Elizabeth Hsu)