Treasure hunt stopped in Paoay

PAOAY, Ilocos Norte, Sept. 29—The provincial environment and natural resources stopped the digging operation of 17 treasure hunters at Culili Point, Brgy. Masintoc, this town.

A PENRO team halted the digging operation and confiscated all their digging equipment on the ground that the affected area is a declared government timberland, hence a geological  monument.

The hunters came from Cavite, Pampanga and some parts of the country. The group in search for hidden gold bars had already dug four deep holes and a tunnel at the site since they arrived at the area last August, report said

A spokesman of the group told reporters that a friend from this town claimed the site is a private lot which he inherited from his late father.

This friend asked them to do the treasure hunt at the said lot on the belief that the retreating Japanese soldiers during the World War II had buried treasures there, the spokesman added.

Appropriate charges were readied against the group.(tsg)