Chinese toxic waste factory uncovered in Lagos

Chinese toxic waste factory uncovered in Lagos
The suspect

• Another firm fingered in economic sabotage

Operatives of the Area F command of the Lagos State police command have uncovered a factory where e-waste is assembled and exported to China and Vietnam. Detectives also arrested two brains behind the e-waste company.

It was gathered that the visas of the two suspects, one Lin Piehao, 22 and Li Ruoneng, 27, have since expired but continued to stay in the country unperturbed.

Sources at the command revealed that operatives stormed the No. 19, Sule Abuka Street, Opebi, Ikeja factory, which had no signboard and arrested the suspects with several cartons of the e-waste already billed to be exported to China and Vietnam through air cargo.

“We got a tip-off about their activities and we stormed there and arrested them.We also discovered that the two brains behind the company are staying in Nigeria illegally. They came to Lagos in May and they were issued 1 month visa but they exceeded their stay and working in Nigeria illegally,” a police source said.

One of the suspects, Lin said: “We buy phone panels (Android and Nokia panels). We buy them from phone repairers and scrap sellers. We remove the panel I.C. with machine and then ship it to China and Vietnam. We have some Nigerian casual workers in our factory but we give them the rules and urge them to be discrete before they join us.

“We actually came into Nigeria with one month visa to explore the country and study to know the business we can do, but our boss in China urged us to open the factory and we have been enjoying Nigeria and did not want to go back despite the expiration of our visa. I don’t have work permit. I know it is a crime to work without work permit, but the e-waste business is very lucrative. We do a lot to ensure that the smoke from the e-waste don’t affect the environment where we operate.”

Police authorities vowed to arraign them in court to serve as deterrent to some foreigners who embark on illegalities unhindered. Studies reveal that e-waste are injurious to human beings.

In addition to its damaging effect on the environment and its illegal nature, researchers have now linked e-waste to adverse effects on human health, such as inflammation and oxidative stress – precursors to cardiovascular disease, DNA damage and possibly cancer.

In another development, a red flag has been raised about the malfeasance of another Chinese company, Zhe Long Investment Limited. The company, according to a search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), was incorporated in Nigeria on January 11, 2018 with an official address at 4, Eric Moore Road, Surulere, Lagos.

Although its official address is in Lagos, it operates from Ogun State without any traceable website or online footprints. Zhe Long, owned by two Chinese namel, Wang Fuzeng and Chen Yuping, has as its main objective: “To carry on business as manufacturer, buyers, sellers, traders, importers, exporters, merchant exporters, departmental stores, distributors, stockists, dealers, packers, re-packers, and agents for all sponge mats and foam products.”

According to a report, the duplicity from the firm ranges from false declaration, tax evasion, forgery, illegal immigration, concealment, and customs duty evasion. It was alleged that in the area of import and shipping documentations, sources revealed that Zhe has been falsely declaring a chemical known as Polyol as Polyacetals.

Polyols are a group of low-digestible carbohydrates derived from the hydrogenation of their sugar or syrup Polyols react with isocyanates to make polyurethanes, which find use to make mattresses, foam insulation for refrigerators and freezers, home and automotive seats, elastomeric shoe soles, fibers (e.g. Spandex), and adhesives.

On the other hand, polyacetal is an engineering thermoplastic used in precision parts requiring high stiffness, low friction, and excellent dimensional stability. It is among plastic materials, with the most crystalline structure. It is also is known for its good fatigue/creep resistance, low friction and good performance in cold temperature.

When newsmen visited the management of Zhe Long Investment Limited, its reception was as that of a mushroom company running a shady business by stark illiterates who cannot engage in simple conversations.

The Chinese factory supervisor, Jennifer Fung, spoke on the defensive without providing substantive evidence. “Who gave you this information? All the information is fake, we report to the revenue office. If anybody says that, let them come to check by themselves. We have immigration and revenue reports. We have a lawyer. Let them go to revenue and immigration offices at Abeokuta to check everything.”

When asked on the reports of her company falsely declaring a chemical known as Polyol as Polyacetals, and that there are about 30 Chinese semi skilled/manual workers operating in the company without a formal documentation, which is clear breach of the nation’s immigration law by both company and the illegal immigrants, she denied.

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