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Smugglers find treasure in trash
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08:52, December 29, 2007

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Authorities in Guangdong Province are waging a war against the blackmarket in old car parts, computer components and other discarded household appliances.

Most of these goods, deemed "solid waste" by anti-smuggling authorities, are being sold cheaply on the mainland, after being illegally imported from overseas.

"Smugglers have prioritized solid waste in their pursuits this year," Ou Sheng, an official with the provincial anti-smuggling office, said.

"We must gear up to keep it under control."

He said the province had launched special campaigns to monitor the coastline for illegal shipments.

Numerous blackmarket operations have been shut down.

Latest figures released by the Guangdong Higher People's Court show that 110 smugglers involved in such operations were tried during the first 11 months of this year, a considerable increase from a year ago.

Sixty-nine smugglers were tried in 2006, and 51 in 2005.

"On one hand, the figures mean that we've done very well in our attempts to control this sort of smuggling," Ou said.

"But on the other, it means many more are still out there and we need to catch them."

The smugglers deal mainly in used cars, engines and other auto components, IT products and household appliances, the official said.

Many of the used goods come from Europe, the United States, Japan and South Korea, through crime syndicates in these countries, he said.

The goods then get illegally shipped to Guangdong.

Smuggled goods recovered by authorities in recent busts have since been destroyed or properly recycled.

Zhou Dingting, a judge with the provincial higher people's court, said there was demand for the goods on the mainland.

Primarily owing to the long coastline and the geographical proximity to Hong Kong and Macao, Guangdong has long been a haven for smugglers.

Source: China Daily

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