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Chilean police arrests gang that stole five tons of glacier ice

Wednesday, February 1st 2012 - 00:06 UTC
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The Jorge Montt glacier is melting at a rate of one kilometre per year The Jorge Montt glacier is melting at a rate of one kilometre per year

Police were investigating a criminal gang that allegedly stole blocks of ice from the Jorge Montt Glacier in southern Chile.

Agents with Chile's National Forest Service (CONAF) filed a legal complaint claiming that ice was being stolen from the glacier, located in the Chilean Patagonia region some 1,700 kilometres south of Santiago.

Police in the southern city of Cochrane then swooped in on a truck loaded with five tons of ice and arrested the driver, the daily El Mercurio reported on its online edition.

The driver was arrested on charges of theft, but could also face charges of crimes against cultural heritage, said Cochrane prosecutor Jose Moris.

Police, who put the value of the stolen ice at 6.200 dollars, are on the lookout for the driver's accomplices.

The 454-square-kilometer Jorge Montt glacier is melting at a rate of a kilometre per year, making it one of the world's most visible milestones of global warming, researchers said in December.

The withering glacier is part of the 13,000-square-kilometer Southern Ice Field, the third largest frozen landmass after Antarctica and Greenland, shared by Chile and Argentina.

Categories: Environment, Latin America.

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