(Yicai Global) June 6 – Chinese customs have snared a smuggling ring spanning 17 jurisdictions across the country and has confiscated scrap steel worth some CNY4.8 billion (USD750 million).
The General Administration of Customs has apprehended 245 suspects as part of the case, the body said on its website.
Chinese authorities had noticed a recent sharp rise in the export of steel scraps recently across the country leading to suspicions of low-price smuggling, and conducted an operation on June 4th bringing in 65 gangs nationwide.
Preliminary investigations showed that several gangs jointly bought 2.4 million tons of scrap steel in China and then smuggled it to Southeast Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia at low prices. The case remains ongoing.
The GAC said that steel scraps are tailings from steel production, scrapped equipment and component steel. Scrap steel is a high-quality renewable resource, that can replace ores in steel product manufacturing. China levies a 40 percent tariff on scrap steel exports and restricts excessive exports as part of efforts to promote the reuse of the commodity.
Editor: William Clegg