Stinky business: Taiwanese company caught dumping pig carcasses into Saigon River

By Van Tram   July 16, 2016 | 04:07 am PT
Stinky business: Taiwanese company caught dumping pig carcasses into Saigon River
The pig carcasses the Taiwanese company dumped into Saigon River on Friday. Photo by VnExpress/Van Tram
The firm is fingered in an alleged once-in-two-decades fish death.

Police in the southern province of Binh Phuoc have caught a Taiwan-invested animal husbandry company discarding hundreds of pig carcasses into upstream Saigon River, causing serious environmental pollution that was blamed for massive fish deaths earlier this month.

On Friday, Viet Phuoc company, whose legal representative is Li Kuo Hui, confessed to dumping hundreds of pig carcasses into the upper reaches of Saigon River, which provides sustenance to millions in the region. The Binh Phuoc provincial environmental police, acting on tip-offs from local residents, launched a surprise inspection on that day and caught Viet Phuoc in the act.

According to the company, it is raising around 27,000 pigs; 10 of which die on a daily basis due to stampede. Viet Phuoc representatives said it had to dump the carcasses into the river because its incinerator has broken down recently.

At the time of the inspection, the carcasses were decomposing and stinky, attracting clouds of flies, the police said.

Locals said on July 6-10, they found dead fishes weighing up to three kilograms floating in the waters surrounding the pig farm. Such fish deaths have never happened over the past two decades, the locals said.

The inspectors have collected samples of the farm wastewater and the Saigon River for further analysis. But they stopped short of any further action to be taken against the Taiwanese company.

Dong Nai River, which is the longest to run exclusively within Vietnam, provides water for nearly 20 million people of 11 provinces and cities, including HCMC, Binh Duong, Dong Nai, Long An and Tay Ninh, living along it. Half of them are HCMC citizens.

Saigon River, 256 km long, is one of the main tributaries of Dong Nai River, flowing into Dong Nai River in Nha Be District. It starts in hill areas of Binh Phuoc Province's Loc Ninh District, which borders Cambodia.

It is the city's main source of water supply, main waterway that facilitates a lot of trade and commerce, and hosts important facilities, including the Saigon Port, a busy container port network, and Thu Thiem Tunnel, one of the longest cross-tunnel in Southeast Asia.

In late June, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, the Vietnam unit of Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group in Ha Tinh Province, admitted its $10.6 billion steel plant had been responsible for the massive fish deaths along the central Vietnamese coast. It pledged $500 million in damages.

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Mass fish death cause identified, results yet to be announced

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