JOHOR BARU: Three men, including two company owners, have been arrested in relation to chemical waste dumped in Sungai Kim Kim – which led to dozens being treated for exposure to hazardous fumes.
State Department of Environment (DoE) director Datuk Dr Mohammad Ezanni Mat Salleh said the suspects were picked up in a joint operation with the police.
A chemical processing factory owner in Kulai were arrested at about 7pm on Sunday, while a waste processing factory owner in Pasir Putih and his worker were arrested at 12.30pm yesterday, he said.
The suspects are between 40 and 50 years old.
Mohammad Ezanni met reporters during a visit to the waste processing factory in Jalan Selar 1, Pasir Putih here.
Also present was State Health, Environment and Agriculture Committee chairman Dr Sahruddin Jamal.
Mohammad Ezanni said a Chemistry Department report led investigators to the first suspect.
“We are currently waiting for another report to determine if chemical compound from the waste processing company was also in the same river,” he said.
Mohammad Ezanni said the arrest of the second suspect was made after a public tip-off informing DoE about their activity.
“We immediately raided the factory and found black chemical material. The worker of the company admitted the waste was going to be disposed of in the river, which is located 500m from the factory.
The case is being investigated under the Environmental Quality Act, which carries a fine of not more than RM500,000 and up to five years’ jail, upon conviction.
Mohammad Ezanni said they hoped to charge the suspects this week but this depends on the deputy public prosecutor.