U.S. Water News Online
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysian authorities have found
a new stockpile of 5,500 metric tons of toxic waste believed to have
been illegally shipped from Taiwan, an official said.
The waste, stored in 223 containers at a port facility in southern
Johor state, was uncovered during investigations into some 12,000
metric tons imported by Malaysian company SynEnviro using forged
permits, said state Environment Minister Freedie Long.
He said both shipments were imported from Taiwan by SynEnviro, but
declined to give more details, saying "investigations are
"We are closely scrutinizing all shipments at the Pasir Gudang
port involving this company,'' Freedie told The Associated Press.
Malaysian authorities had said that SynEnviro could face criminal
charges for importing waste illegally.
Bringing toxic waste into Malaysia is strictly regulated and
permission is only granted if the importer can show it will reprocess
the waste. Offenders face fines up to $131,600 and prison terms up to
Taiwan officials said local firm Hong You Technology Co. used a
fake Malaysian import permit to get Taiwan's approval to ship waste
&emdash; including toxic materials from dissolved metals &emdash; to
Malaysia, where it was to be used to make building bricks.
Taiwan issued an export permit for the waste in 2002 but revoked
it last month after discovering the Malaysian import permit was
Hong You could be asked to take the materials back if a safe way
to dispose of them in Malaysia is not found.
The New Straits Times reported that the latest consignment was
among several batches that had arrived from Taiwan since January, and
that it had been cleared by Customs.
The daily said the earlier shipment of toxic waste was still
stored at a brick making factory in Johor.
Chemical analysis showed the waste contained high density minerals
such as copper, lead, nickel, cadmium and chromium, which are
byproducts in the manufacture of circuit boards.
Greenpeace says the case is more evidence that rich countries are
using developing countries in Southeast Asia as a "dumping ground''
for their toxic waste.
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