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Lake pollution: Company and executives guilty

A COMPANY in southwest China and three of its senior executives were found guilty today of polluting a major local freshwater lake. The company was fined 16 million yuan (US$2.34 million).

A court of Chengjiang County in Yunnan Province found Yunnan Chengjiang Jinye Industrial and Trade Co was responsible for water pollution in Yangzonghai Lake, one of the nine plateau lakes in Yunnan.
The indictment said the water in Yangzonghai Lake was no longer drinkable and suitable for fish farming and more than 26,000 nearby residents had their water cut off, causing a loss worth millions of yuan.

Three company executives were punished with jail terms of up to four years. Two were fined 150,000 yuan and one was fined 300,000 yuan.

The company and the three executives told the court they would appeal.

Water in the lake was found to contain arsenic last June and the company was found to be the source of the pollution on September 17.

The company was shut down immediately with people responsible for the accident detained. The provincial government said 26 officials were involved in the crime and sacked 12 of them.

The court heard the case in April when the three executives pleaded not guilty and asked for a reexamination of the source of the pollution but this was rejected by the court.


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