A border guard in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, inpects bundles of waste textiles smuggled into China. Mao Siqian/Xinhua
Prosecutors in Guangdong province have vowed to crack down even harder against the illegal importation of trash this year in order to better protect the environment, according to Procuratorate Daily.
By the end of last year, provincial prosecutors had detained 67 suspects who allegedly benefited from smuggling foreign garbage and had prosecuted 30 of them — up 294 percent and 233 percent year-on-year respectively — the paper reported on Monday.
It said the province launched a campaign against overseas garbage smuggling in April last year because the rubbish had a severely negative effect on public health and seriously harmed the local ecology and environment.
In the campaign, some major smuggling rings were disrupted. For example, a defendant surnamed Lan was recently sentenced to three and a half years in prison for illegally importing solid waste, according to the report.
Lan was also fined 300,000 yuan ($47,750) after smuggling discarded computers and electronic waste from overseas, it added.
In July, the State Council announced a nationwide ban on the importation of garbage. Later, provincial authorities established a cross-border team to follow reports of pollution from residents, and also increased legal cooperation with China Customs and environmental departments, the daily said.
In addition, the province announced that environmental oversight would be a major initiative this year.