Eight arrested in China for mass oil smuggling

Beijing, Sep 16 (IANS) At least eight people have been arrested by Chinese police in a case involving smuggling of more than 34,000 tonnes of oil, officials said on Wednesday. More than 10 other suspects were detained and two tankers were seized after customs police in China’s Jiangsu province busted the ring, which has been operating since 2013, reported Xinhua news agency. The smuggling ring bought oil from a Taiwanese tanker in open waters. A suspect set up a company in Shandong province, to sell the oil. The smuggled oil is worth about 250 million yuan (about $39 million). The group evaded an estimated 68 million yuan in taxes. In early 2015, customs officials in Jiangsu province began to suspect a tanker after discovering falsified application materials. Upon investigation, its Automatic Identification System devices, a system used to record data from ships’ activities, were shut down. Later, the police tracked the tanker, along with another. They found evidence of smuggling on the vessels, although the suspects had fled. The suspects were caught in late March. The Taiwanese suspect was nabbed at the port of Xiamen, Fujian province, in mid-July.




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