Chinese factory raided for environmental, labor offenses

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District Chief Naris Niramaiwong, flanked by soldiers, police and officials from the Chonburi Industry Ministry office, storm DK Plastic (Thailand) in Takhiantia.
District Chief Naris Niramaiwong, flanked by soldiers, police and officials from the Chonburi Industry Ministry office, storm DK Plastic (Thailand) in Takhiantia.

PATTAYA – Banglamung officials raided an illegal Chinese recycling plant for pollution, tax and labor-code violations.

District Chief Naris Niramaiwong, flanked by soldiers, police and officials from the Chonburi Industry Ministry office, stormed DK Plastic (Thailand) in Takhiantia June 8 following a barrage of complaints from neighbors that the plant was releasing sewage into a local canal and employing illegal aliens.

The plant, opened as a polyethylene-resins crusher, was found to be holding hundreds of tons of electronic waste in the walled-off, four-rai property.

Workers scattered as officers swooped in, but 21 Burmese nationals were taken into custody, 13 of which were found to have no work permit. Officers also recovered walkie-talkies, untaxed foreign cigarettes and gas-spray lighters, all of which are illegal.

An inspection of the property found plastic waste and other wastewater being illegally flushed into a waterway.

Chinese manager Chen Youglin, 39, was arrested after he failed to produce any legal permit or license for the facility to operate.

Samruay Kemthong, the ministry office’s factory chief, said the Chinese owner of the factory was rejected for a business permit after leasing the land from Racha Jumbo Bag Co. However, the owner opened the business anyway.

He said the plant violated a host of environmental and safety laws and illegally imported materials from overseas.

Naris vowed full prosecution of the factory owner on at least six charges.