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July 23, 2019

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Oil accounts for 90% of smuggling cases: court

More than 90 percent of smuggling cases in regions without customs handled by the Shanghai No. 3 Intermediate People’s Court in the past four years were related to oil products, the court said yesterday.

The court began to deal with the city’s smuggling cases in March 2015. By June this year, it had accepted 51 criminal cases of smuggling in regions without customs and resolved 48 of them. Thanks to tougher crackdown, the local anti-smuggling authorities have managed to seize more smugglers — 29 cases were accepted last year and 12 in the first half of this year.

In one case, a captain and a sailor who smuggled more than 700 tons of fuel oil and evaded over 2 million yuan (US$290,702) in tax were sentenced to up to five and a half years in jail.

In August last year, Lin was employed as the captain of a vessel and hired Qiu as a sailor. On August 6, they departed from Chongming District and reached a designated place outside the country’s territorial waters on August 8. They took fuel oil from a foreign vessel anchored there and then made a detour to avoid being detected by customs. However, they were caught by police when they sailed back to Chongming the next day. Lin was sentenced to five and a half years and fined 800,000 yuan while Qiu got two and a half years and a fine of 500,000 yuan. The fuel was confiscated and the illegal gains retrieved.

Hefty jail terms

In another case in June last year, four men who smuggled more than 550 tons of fuel oil and evaded nearly 1.6 million yuan in tax were jailed for up to four years. The oil and their two vessels were seized.

Wang had been employed to rent a vessel and serve as captain. On June 10, he set sail from Fujian Province and went outside territorial waters to take fuel oil from another ship. Two others, Hu and Wu, were told by their boss to look after the goods on Wang’s vessel.

On the night of June 12, Wang sailed back and contacted another accomplice Liu to get some smuggled oil from his ship in Shanghai. While Liu was taking the fuel to his ship, they were discovered by police. Wang, Wu and Liu were captured at the scene while Hu fled on a small boat. Hu was traced by police in Jiangsu Province on September 11.

Hu was jailed for four years, Wang and Wu three and a half years and Liu 10 months.




 

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