The Hualien Forest District Office recently made use of their real-time reporting system to discover two suspicious individuals entering the mountains via the Chang Liang forest road. After confirming their whereabouts, police were informed and personnel were mobilized immediately. An ambush was staged the following day on Qingshui Chanye road, in cooperation with the Ninth Division of the Seventh Special Police Corps, Hualien County Police Department, Yuli Police Precinct, Zhuole Police Station. Six bags of poached forest by-product fungus (Antrodia cinnamomea) were recovered on the premises, weighing a total of 497.4 grams, and valued at almost NT$60,000. Police authorities will process the case on suspicion of theft and violation of the Forestry Act.
According to the Forest District Office, the fungus (Antrodia cinnamomea) grows slowly, mainly between June and October. It needs 3 to 5 years before it can produce fruiting bodies. The extensive area and interconnected forest roads in the region make crackdowns difficult amidst the high-risk period for timber poaching. To curb illegal activities, the Forest District Office and the Ninth Division of the Seventh Special Police Corps, Hualien Branch employed meticulous planning, ambushes, and the real-time reporting system to assist in search and seizure operations, providing a complete overview of poaching activities. The operation involved a total mobilization of 9 personnel over the course of 13 days, culminating in the seizure of goods and arrest of the culprits.
The Forest District Office explained that the application of technology played a definite role in the recent operation. To prevent the overall occurrence of illegal incidents, all future evidence collection in crime hot spots, such as precious woods and high-dumping areas, will make use of the real-time reporting system to assist in police investigations.
The Forest District Office would like to remind the public that forests are a sustainable resource, and that biodiversity is best preserved when individuals collaborate with authorities to protect the public interest. Disturbing our peaceful co-existence with nature through the selfish appropriation and sale of forest (by-)products will absolutely not be tolerated. We encourage the public to jointly protect the country's important forest resources and refrain from heedlessly breaking the law.