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Illegal coal mining continues

Update: July, 17/2015 - 08:41
Coal trucks seized in Ha Long City. Illegal coal mining continues to take place in the city despite police efforts. — VNA/VNS Photo Van Duc

HA LONG (VNS) — Illegal coal mining in Ha Long City in Quang Ninh Province is continuing to affect the lives of residents and depleting natural resources.

According to city authorities, many miners have continued to illegally exploit coal despite increasing efforts from local police.

On Tuesday, police discovered a lorry transporting tonnes of coal that had been exploited from unknown sources.

While speeding down Highway 18A, the lorry hit a woman on a motorbike, and the woman is currently being treated at a local hospital. The driver fled from the scene.

Since November 2011, the city has prohibited all vehicles from transporting coal on highways to avoid traffic jams and environmental pollution. The Viet Nam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corporation has also stopped transporting coal on highways.

Residents living along the highway say many unidentified trucks transport coal through the night. Earlier in March, police discovered nine trucks transporting about 440 tonnes of coal. The related companies were unable to present documents regarding where the coal had come from, and an investigation is underway. The Hon Gai Company suspended two employees and their boss who were in charge of protecting the coal mine where the companies are suspected to have illegally exploited the material.

In May, police also discovered an illegal coal mining operation at a mine belonging to the Ha Long Coal Company.

Since the beginning of this year, Ha Long have uncovered 30 unauthorised coal mines in the districts of Ha Khanh, Viet Hung, Dai Yen, Cao Thang, Ha Lam. They have also confiscated several tonnes of coal as well as equipment used for illegal mining.

However, residents of Quang Ninh said that operations at these mines reopened almost immediately after the inspections, leading to fears of increased crime in the province. — VNS

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