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Cops seize boat loaded with illegally-cut lumber in Dinagat Islands province

Police intercepted a motorboat loaded with 5,00 board feet of illegally-cut and sawn lumber in the seawater along coastal Barangay Poblacion of Libjo town in the province of Dinagat Islands on Friday evening.

A report by the Caraga Police Regional Information Office here headed by Chief Inspector Nelly T. Villagarcia said the motorboat was heading toward Surigao City where wood traders and buyers were waiting.

Villagarcia said the “hot lumber,” mostly teak wood which is hardest among hardwood species in the country, was allegedly owned by a certain Tano Matutis, of Barangay Poblacion, Libjo town.

The report said the Libjo town police headed by SPO2 Adolfo Go arrested the operators of the boat identified as Marjun Matutis, 20, single; Romy Castillon Silikot, and Chelo Canoy Canonigo, all residents of Purok 14, Barangay Melody, Libjo town.

The suspects and the confiscated lumber were brought to the Loreto Municipal Police Station for proper disposition.

Authorities said that under the law, any vehicle transporting illegal logs or lumber will be seized, including drivers, helpers and owners, and will be held for questioning before filing of appropriate charges.

Teak wood, a rare hardwood species in the Philippines, including naturally-grown Bonsai trees and other rare hardwood types, are abundant in Dinagat Islands. (philstar)

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