Police probe man for destroying plants

2017-08-09 08:05     Comment:1

A local man has been questioned for allegedly destroying a number of Alocasia macrorrhizos plants in Fortress Hill Garden and Guia Municipal Park, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Tam Weng Keong said yesterday.

According to Wikipedia, Alocasia macrorrhizos, whose common names include giant taro, ape, giant alocasia and pai, is edible if cooked for a long time but its sap irritates the skin due to calcium oxalate crystals, or raphides, which are needle-shaped.

According to Tam, the suspect, surnamed U, is an unemployed 32-year-old man. Tam said U had posted status updates in early May on a social platform offering his services as a hitman for 500,000 patacas. The police then picked him up and transferred him to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) for further questioning. At that time U was ordered to report to the Judicial Police every month during the ongoing investigation.

Moreover, U was picked up last month for posting status updates between May and June on a social platform about assassinating the
chief executive and overthrowing the local government. The police said U claimed that he had posted the status updates “just for fun”.

The Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) told the police last week that its staff found that the giant taro planted in a number of areas in Fortress Hill Garden and Guia Municipal Park had withered. Tam said the bureau suspected that somebody had deliberately damaged the plants.

Tam said the destroyed giant taro was worth about 17,600 patacas.

After investigating, the police discovered that U had posted a video taken in the garden on a social platform. In the video, U claimed
that giant taro is poisonous, vowing to kill all the plants soon.

Consequently, the police suspected that it was U who destroyed the giant taro, Tam said, adding that U refused to cooperate with the
police when they questioned him about the matter during one of his weekly visits to the police station.

Tam also said the police suspect that U sprayed some highly concentrated pesticide on the giant taro, adding that the police were still investigating the ingredients of the pesticide which U had used.

Tam also said the case has been transferred to the Public Prosecution Office (MP) for further investigation.

This undated file photo taken in 2005 shows the Alocasia macrorrhizos plant aka giant taro. – Wikipedia


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