Village officials detained as TV show exposes chemical company

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/18 22:33:40

Two village officials were detained on Wednesday after a TV news report uncovered alleged mafia-style crime and dangerous pollution by a State-owned chemical company in North China's Shanxi Province.

The Linfen city government dispatched a team to crack down on organized crime involving the village officials, enterprises and environmental protection departments, the Shanxi Province Department of Environmental Protection announced on Wednesday.

The investigation was launched following a half-hour China Central Television (CCTV) show on Tuesday about the Shanxi Sanwei Group, a State-owned enterprise allegedly discharging illegal solid industrial waste that damaged the health of villagers.

The CCTV reporters said they were obstructed and threatened by two Gouli village  officials on February 26. The reporters said they were trying to talk  to residents of the Hongdong county village but were forced to stop filming.

A listed company, Shanxi Sanwei Group has total assets of more than 4.5 billion yuan ($718 million).

Linfen has detained two village officials for 15 days, the Shanxi environmental authority said on its website.

Sanwei discharged solid industrial waste, carbide slag and coal ash, polluting the air, contaminating the soil and underground water, CCTV reported.

The pollution irritated the respiratory tract and eyes of villagers and could cause pneumonia, the TV show said.

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