12 arrested for damaging forest with illegal quarrying

February 7, 2012 02:46

Residents of Turan in the Lower Galilee suspected of systematically quarrying and selling rocks illegally, damaging forests.


Forest trees environment green 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock)

Police arrested 12 residents of Turan in the Lower Galilee on Monday on suspicion of systematically quarrying and selling rocks illegally, and causing severe damage to forests.

Undercover officers from the national Lahav 433 unit observed the suspects, all from the same family, digging up dolomite and chalk quarries, police said. Those type of rocks are commonly found in the hilly countryside of the North.

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Police said the suspects caused “irreversibly damage to a forest and nature reserves.”

Around NIS 19 million worth of damage was caused to the area, police added.

Police seized tractors, tracks and other vehicles during the raid.

The suspects were aged from 18 to 75, and allegedly sold the stolen stone to construction contractors “while failing to declare the income,” authorities said.

The Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court extended the remand of six suspects by eight days, and of a further two suspects by four days.

One of the suspects “has harmed an archeological site in the past,” the police representative to court said.

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