Illegal ewaste disposal plant with laundry list of offences raided in Seremban


Negri Sembilan climate change, human resources, entrepreneurship, cooperatives and consumerism committee chairman S. Veerapan looking at some of the ewaste at the premises during the operation.

SEREMBAN: Enforcement teams have seized an estimated 200 tonnes of electronic waste from unnumbered premises near Sg Linggi, an important source of raw water here.

Preliminary investigations have found that the ewaste, believed to have been shipped in from the United States and China via Port Klang, had been fraudulently declared as scrap to be allowed in.

Negri Sembilan climate change, human resources, entrepreneurship, cooperatives and consumerism committee chairman S. Veerapan said the enforcement operation was jointly carried out by several agencies following a tip-off.

"Investigations have found that the entire operation was run illegally by Chinese nationals who had hired up to 60 foreigners to dismantle the ewaste.

"The manner of the dismantling... would have a negative impact on the people's health and the environment, especially when the premises is less than 100m from Sg Linggi," he told reporters when met at the site on Wednesday (Feb 21).

He said the operator had not put up any sign to indicate the type of business being carried out to escape detection.

Parts of the ewaste found at the premises during the operation.Parts of the ewaste found at the premises during the operation.

"It had also failed to obtain a licence from the local council to run the operation.

"Those behind the illegal operation have committed nine different offences which come under the jurisdiction of seven government departments and agencies.

"The entire place is in a mess with total disregard for the environment or public health," he said, adding that the raiding team only managed to arrest seven Myanmar nationals while the others involved got away.

Veerapan said the case would be probed under Section 18 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 for failing to obtain approval to handle and manage ewaste and under Section 34 of the same legislation for failing to provide an environmental impact assessment report on the activity.

The operator had also contravened Section 3(1) of local council licensing bylaws for running an operation without a valid licence from the local council, he said, and Section 112(1BA) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for failing to provide proof of income tax payment.

Veerapan said other offences include violating Section 24D of the Employees' Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodations and Amenities Act 1990 to ensure the foreign workers had proper accommodation; Section 6(1)(c) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 for hiring undocumented migrants; and Section 70(1) of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 for erecting a building without proper approval.

Parts of the ewaste found at the premises during the operationParts of the ewaste found at the premises during the operation

Veerapan said the operator was believed to have been renting the premises from the owner, a local, for RM38,000 a month.

"Investigations have also shown that they started operations in 2020 but then stopped.

""They resumed operations last year with ewaste being brought in almost on a daily basis from Port Klang," he said, adding that the operator was also believed to have dumped some of the waste into Sg Linggi.

Veerapan hoped that the public would continue to report such matters to the authorities so that action can be taken against illegal operators.

"On our part, we will aggressively carry out operations to put a stop to such activities which are harmful to both health and the environment," he added.

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