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Second Singaporean man charged in Pasir Gudang chemical dumping

Second Singaporean man charged in Pasir Gudang chemical dumping

Fumes from toxic chemicals dumped in Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang in March 2019 caused students and teachers from nearby schools to experience shortness of breath and vomiting. (Photo: Bernama)

JOHOR BAHRU: The Singaporean company director who surrendered to police in connection with last month’s chemical pollution in Sungai Kim Kim was charged on Thursday (Apr 25).

Illegal dumping of chemicals into the river in Johor led to more than 2,700 people being taken ill and 111 schools in Pasir Gudang to temporarily close.

On Wednesday, Sim Wei Der, 50, turned himself in at the Seri Alam district police headquarters at 11.17am and was detained in the police lockup, according to Johor police deputy chief Mohd Kamaruddin Md Din.

READ: Bail granted for Singaporean involved in Pasir Gudang chemical dumping after High Court intervenes

READ: New Johor executive council expected to prioritise river pollution, Causeway congestion: Analyst

Sim pleaded not guilty after he was charged on Thursday with abetting three others to dispose chemical waste into the river.

Three people, including Singaporean Wang Jing Chao, 34, director of a used tyre-processing company, have pleaded not guilty in relation to the case. 

Sim, who was represented by lawyer Joshua Tay, was charged with abetting lorry driver N Maridass, 35, Malaysian Yap Yoke Liang, 42, and Wang to dispose oil waste and sludge using a lorry and a semi-trailer tank into Sungai Kim Kim.

He had allegedly committed the offence near the Sungai Kim Kim bridge-widening project site, between 12am and 1am on Mar 7, according to the charge sheet.

File photo of pollution at Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang. (Photo: Bernama) ​​​​​​​

The waste was disposed into Sungai Kim Kim without prior approval from the director-general of Environment Quality.

Mr Sim was allowed bail of RM250,000 (S$82,500) with two local sureties and ordered to report to the Pasir Gudang police station on the 15th of every month.

His case is set for mention on May 23.

If found guilty, Mr Sim faces a maximum punishment of five years’ jail and RM500,000 fine.

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