Sat, Jan 21, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Miaoli police arrest man for smuggling, selling foreign ants

Staff writer, with CNA

Several species of non-native ants are displayed at a Miaoli County police station on Wednesday.

Photo: CNA

Miaoli police on Wednesday arrested a man on suspicion of smuggling exotic ants from China and selling them over the Internet.

Police seized 1,115 non-native ants of various species at the 35-year-old man’s home after acting on a tip-off provided late last year by the Council of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

The ants originated mainly in southern Europe and China’s Xinjiang region, police said, adding that one species can sting, causing red, swollen spots that last for about two days.

The man bought the ants on Taobao, a Chinese online shopping Web site, for NT$200 to NT$500 per batch of 10 ants, which were delivered to Taiwan by a logistics company, police said.

He then raised the ants and sold them on Facebook for three times the original price, selling about 10 batches of ants over the past year, police added.

There were at least six species of ants, two of which could be harmful to crops and the environment if released, said Lin Chung-chi (林宗岐), an associate professor at National Changhua University of Education’s Department of Biology, who was assisting police in examining and identifying the ants.

The man could face up to three years in jail and a fine of up to NT$150,000 for violations of the Plant Protection and Quarantine Act (植物防疫檢疫法), the bureau said.

This story has been viewed 2977 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top