The regional prosecutor of La Araucanía, Roberto Garrido, gave details of the investigation that led to the arrest of the Temucuicui community spokesperson, Michael Carvones; two forestry entrepreneurs and a truck driver for tax crimes, theft of wood and illicit association.
The other three detainees correspond to Daniel Andrés Salgado Quezada, Felipe Abelardo Barrios Cáceres and Mario César Poblete Poblete.
As detailed by the persecutor, the investigation has made it possible to establish that from 2020 to date a group of people who made up a criminal structure, a “criminal enterprise”, stole wood from a forest property, where “Through different companies they laundered the origin of the wood to later sell it to final recipients.”
It was also found that they committed tax crimes, highlighting the prosecutor the collaboration of the Internal Revenue Service.
$4 billion fraud
“The defendants had access to 50 hectares in the ex-fundo Alaska, from there no more than 45 hectares have been exploited in the last four years, however, the amount of wood that they have commercialized exceeds 76 thousand cubic meters, causing damage of more than 2 billion pesos to the victims”, Garrido explained.
A similar figure is the impact on the treasury, where, through the incorporation of false invoices into accounting, they managed to “increase the tax credit and avoid paying taxes”.
The members of the organization fulfilled different roles, from the extraction of the wood, the transport of the same and the direction of the works where the illegal forest tasks were carried out.
Relationship between attacks and wood theft
Garrido explained that the acts of violence in La Araucanía and the theft of wood have different ties. The first is associated with the occupation of certain properties, where land is claimed and then extraction operations are carried out on it. The second is that the people who are involved in this illegal weapons are provided to protect illegal work.
Along these lines, he announced that among the charges that will be charged this day there is the crime of unjustified shooting at police officers.
“We have to investigate the crimes that are committed no matter who the people behind them are. What is relevant to restore the confidence of the institutions, in the justice system, is to prosecute the crimes that are committed,” he said.
Regarding the role of the Temucuicui werkén, the prosecutor asserted that “He had the direction of the organization, he was also a partner of the other detainees, they have several companies where they participate in an equal percentage, he is the one who distributes the functions and obtains important benefits from the theft of wood.”
The stolen wood was traded both in the region of La Araucanía and in the Bío Bío.
Finally, he clarified that the formalization of charges against the four detainees in the Loncoche Guarantee Court is because one of the crimes that will be charged corresponds to a tax offense that he committed in said commune.