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5 charged with stealing ice from glacier

March 22, 2012 at 7:31 PM

COCHRANE, Chile, March 22 (UPI) -- Five Chileans have been indicted for allegedly stealing tons of ice from a protected glacier, with plans to sell it to upscale bars and restaurants in Santiago.

Authorities said the suspects hired three boats to get to the Jorge Montt glacier in Bernardo O'Higgins National Park in January, extracted 5.2 tons of ice and put it on refrigerated trucks to take it to Santiago, The Santiago Times reported.

Police stopped the trucks at a roadblock outside the south Chile town of Cochrane.

"It was established through the use of GPS and the account of a witness that the ice was extracted from the park, an area that is protected by law," a representative from Policia de Investigaciones said.

After the suspects were arrested, the National Forestry Service requested police investigate.

The suspects face penalties of 541 days to five years in prison and fines of as much as $590,000.

The Times said it is believed to be the first such attempt to steal ice from a glacier.

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