Thai authorities uncover illegal e-waste importation at three factories in central Thailand

Picture courtesy of KhaoSod.

An illegal importation of electronic waste, or e-waste, was uncovered during a raid by the Department of Industrial Works and the Pollution Control Department. They discovered over a thousand tonnes of the waste in three factories located in Pathum Thani and Chachoengsao provinces.

The inspection took place today, initiated by Police Lieutenant General Puthidech Bungrapheu, of the Office of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

Authorities from the Department of Industrial Works and Pollution Control Department stormed two companies, one based in Lam Luk Ka, Pathum Thani, following a court-issued search warrant.

At the site, they discovered one woman, identified only as Nuengruethai, who was managing the facility. Simultaneously, authorities also examined another company located in Khao Hin Sorn, Phanom Sarakham, Chachoengsao. At the second site, they found a woman identified as Siraphat, also managing the operations.

During the search, they found 1,960 electronic items, 60 laptops, and another 1,000 kilogrammes of electronic parts, which they believed were illegally imported from abroad. Investigators had previously received intelligence about covert imports of e-waste, a prohibited item due to its potential to cause air pollution.

The factories served as storage and sorting facilities for the e-waste, with the weight exceeding 1,000 tonnes, reported KhaoSod.

Upon interrogation, the company managers claimed that they had purchased some of the items from local villagers but could not provide any evidence to support their statement.

Initial investigations also revealed that all three companies had been operating without proper notifications, had installed machinery without permission, and had been releasing waste gases from their production processes without a proper pollution control system.

The offences violate the Factory Act and other related laws. Consequently, all evidence was seized and cases have been initiated according to the law by PACC’s investigative officers. The accused have been asked to produce relevant documents for further investigation.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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