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September 5, 2009

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Arsenic river trio jailed, fined

TWO officials and a worker of a chemical company in east China's Shandong Province have been jailed after discharging waste water containing massive amounts of toxic arsenic into a river.

Yu Hao, chief of Yixin Chemical Co Ltd, was jailed for 15 years and fined 500,000 yuan (US$73,204), while Xu Changxian, the factory's director, received six years and Yu Zongyou, a Yixin worker, received five years, yesterday's Procuratorial Daily reported.

The three were ordered to jointly compensate 37.14 million yuan to the state for the economic losses caused.

The court was told Yu Hao started producing arsanilic acid at his factory from April 2009 though he had not received a license from the Agricultural Ministry.

On the night of July 20 and July 23 when local river levels rose after rain, to save treatment costs, Yu Hao asked Xu and Yu Zongyou to discharge the waste water directly to the local Nanshu River.

The waste, containing arsenic 27,254 times above state standards, polluted the river and caused an economic loss of 37.14 million yuan.

The court was told Yu Hao had made 1.9 million yuan from selling 68.65 tons of arsanilic acid since April.


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