Johor Bahru—A second Singaporean is now in police custody in connection with the March 7 chemical poisoning of Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang which left thousands poisoned and nearby schools closed for several days.
A Singaporean national who had been wanted by the local police surrendered at the Seri Alam district police headquarters at 11:17 am on Wednesday, April 24.
Mohd Kamaruddin Md Din, the police deputy chief of Johor, said that the man is currently being detained at the Seri Alam district police lockup.
In a statement, Mr Mohd said, “Investigation papers have been referred to the office of the Johor State Prosecution Director with a proposal for charges under Section 34B and Section 42 of the Environment Act 1974. Police are waiting for further instructions from the Johor State Prosecution Director’s office.”
The Singaporean, a company director in the area, has been wanted by the police in Johor since shortly after the incident occurred.
One Singaporean and two Malaysians had already been charged in connection with the illegal dumping of chemicals on March 7 into Sungai Kim Kim at Pasir Gudang, which affected almost 6,000 children and adults.
The three individuals who were apprehended are Singaporean Wang Jin Chao, 34, and Malaysian Yap Yoke Liang, 36, who are the directors of a company that processes used tires, as well as N. Maridass, 35, a truck driver.
The charge sheet indicated that Mr Maridass has been accused of illegally dumping the chemicals into the Sungai Kim Kim on March 7. Mr Yap and Mr Wang are accused of conspiring with Mr Maridass.
They were all accused of dumping chemicals in the river unlawfully, and they have all pleaded not guilty to the charge when they appeared before Judge Hakim Jailani Rahman.
This is just the first of the charges, with more expected.
The three men were read the charges in the Sessions Court in Johor Bahru under Section 34B(1)(a) of the Environment Quality Act 1974.
Messrs Yap and Wang were also charged under Section 42 of the same Act and will be sentenced under Section 34B(4) of the Act.
Should the men be convicted, they could be fined as much as RM500,000 (S$ 166,000) and face a five-year jail sentence.
The judge imposed bail amounting to RM100,000 (S$ 33,000) on Maridass and RM250,000 (S$83,000) on Yap in one surety each.
Mr Yap was also told by the judge that he needed to surrender his passport.
On March 27, the Singaporean who was charged in connection with the illegal chemical dumping at Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang was granted bail. This occurred after a decision from the Sessions Court was overturned by the High Court.
It was earlier reported that a decision from Sessions Court on Sunday, March 24, stated that since he was a foreigner, Mr Wang could not be granted bail.
According to a report from the Star, 34-year-old Wang Jing Chao, a Singaporean national, was offered bail amounting to RM250,000 (S$83,000) with two Malaysian sureties. Mr Wang is required to report to the police station at Pasir Gudang on the 15th day of every month until the case ends./TISG
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