Chilean held for stealing ice from a glacier

February 1st, 2012 - 12:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Santiago, Feb 1 (IANS/EFE) Chilean police nabbed a man who was transporting in a refrigerated truck 5,200 kg of ice that had been removed from a glacier, the cargo apparently destined for bars and restaurants here in the capital.

“It’s the first time that a situation with these characteristics has been reported,” the chief prosecutor in the southern region of Aysen, Jose Moris, told EFE Tuesday.

Last Friday, rangers noticed the man transporting the ice from Jorge Montt glacier located in Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, said the provincial chief of the forest service, Piero Caviglio.

The glacier can only be accessed by water after a four-hour trip from Caleta Tortel, a village linked to the town of Cochrane by 128 km of dirt road.

Upon being informed that the ice had been loaded into a truck in Caleta Tortel, police set up a roadblock to enable them to stop and examine the vehicle, where they found the stolen ice.

A police spokesperson said that the cargo was in large plastic sacks.

Apparently, a Santiago company had hired the driver to transport the ice on the long journey to the capital.

Moris said that given the normal price of ice, the cargo of glacier ice had a value of 3.5 million pesos ($7,000), although it is presumed that the going rate for 1,000-year-old ice from a glacier could be double the normal price.

While authorities are investigating the matter, the glacier ice, rather than cooling drinks in the capital, will now be dumped into the pools of a farmers association in Cochrane, which will use it to irrigate local crops that are being affected by the drought that prevails in parts of Chile.

–IANS/EFE
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