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      Smuggling of foreign waste on the increase
      From:Shine  |  2019-04-10 02:29

      The smuggling of foreign waste and oil to the city, especially by sea, is on the increase, according to a white paper on cases handled by the No. 3 Branch of the Shanghai People's Procuratorate.

      There were no cases related to foreign waste in 2016, but it approved arrests in five cases in 2017 after a campaign was launched to crack down on waste from other countries. Three of the cases were taken to court. Last year, it handled nine cases and took eight to court.

      In one of last year’s cases, a man surnamed Zhu was found to have imported more than 830 tons of solid waste from foreign retailers, selling them to domestic individuals and companies. He was sentenced to five years and six months in prison and fined 400,000 yuan (US$60,000).

      Shanghai Customs officers had handled 11 cases of foreign waste smuggling in their Blue Sky 2018 campaign by October last year and seized 1,095 tons of waste, with 34 suspects being put under compulsory measures.

      Due to the ongoing crackdown on foreign waste, the upward trend will last for a certain period, prosecutors said.

      Oil smuggling cases were also on the rise due to a growing demand for petroleum products in the industrial and transport sectors, including Shanghai's advanced water transport, prosecutors said.

      Last year, the procuratorate handled applications for arrests in 37 oil smuggling cases involving 121 people, accounting for more than 36 percent and 54 percent of the whole number of applications and people involved respectively.

      A total of 101 people were arrested and 88 were charged.

      Along with the e-commerce boom, smuggling through cross-border e-commerce platforms is becoming prevalent, prosecutors said.

      They warned residents and travelers entering China that they needed to declare items worth more than 5,000 yuan. Tax evasion that exceeds 100,000 yuan could be considered a crime, they said.

      Last year the procuratorate handled 101 smuggling cases for arrest approval and 139 for charge, with 223 and 359 people involved. Seven of the suspects were foreigners.

      In one case, a Bolivian man who tried to bring nearly 2,000 grams of cocaine into China was sentenced to life imprisonment and deportation with all his property, including the drugs, confiscated.

      The man flew from Brazil to Shanghai in August last year. When he arrived at Shanghai Pudong International Airport on August 21, he went through the "nothing to declare" channel. However, customs officers noticed suspicious items when his luggage was scanned.

      In a suitcase they found 13 bags of white powder weighing 2,477.9 grams. The cocaine content of the powder was tested at 77.37 percent.

      Parts of endangered species were also a major type of contraband smuggled into the country.

      In a case that was resolved last year, a man surnamed Zhuhad bought pangolin scales in Africa in August 2016 and hid them in containers carrying wood for delivery to Shanghai. When they arrived, Zhu and his accomplice, surnamed Xu, signed an import contract with a company, declaring it to be wood from the Afzelia xylocarpa tree.

      But when the containers were scanned, officers noticed something else inside and seized 101 packets of animal scales weighing more than 3 tons and worth over 8 million yuan. In addition to a 13-year jail term, Zhu was fined 500,000 yuan, while Xu was sentenced to five years and fined 50,000 yuan.



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