Authorities have arrested and booked a Norwegian and his Filipina partner after raiding their resort in the tourist town of El Nido. The raid followed reports of a large amount of illegal hardwoods. Once inside, the team discovered more than seven million pesos worth of banned hardwood species.
48-year-old Jan Nielsen and Michelle Gasacao, a native of El Nido, were charged with ‘forestry law violations’ and were taken to Puerto Princesa City for a formal inquest before the provincial prosecutor’s office.
The lumber is said by authorities to be Palawan ipil, nato and amugis species.
The raid was conducted on the basis of an arrest warrant issued a day before the operation by Palawan’s “Green Court” Judge Ambrosio de Luna, netting one of the largest haul of illegal logs in recent months.
The couple is being charged for violation of Presidential Decree #705 – or the Forestry Code of the Philippines, which imposes a minimum penalty of six months in jail and deportation in the case of the Norwegian.