4 on trial after local customs seize fireworks

Four people accused of trying to illegally export more than 70 tons of firecrackers and fireworks have been put on trial for endangering public safety.

Four people accused of trying to illegally export more than 70 tons of firecrackers and fireworks have been put on trial for endangering public safety.

Prosecutors in Hongkou District said the seized firecrackers and fireworks carry a destructive power equivalent to nearly 2 tons of TNT.

Prosecutors said one of the four, surnamed Yan, ran a fireworks company in east China’s Jiangxi Province. He got an order from a buyer from a Middle East country last year. As the buyer couldn’t provide an import license, Yan turned to two shipping agents, surnamed Zhang and Gao, to help clear customs.

The fourth suspect, surnamed Cai, was allegedly recruited to transport the goods from central China’s Hunan Province to Shanghai, where Zhang and Gao provided falsified declarations intended to fool local customs officials.

Inspectors found the explosives surrounded by plastic bins. Investigation showed there were 26 types of fireworks concealed in more than 6,000 boxes.

The fireworks could have caused a massive explosion if not properly stored or transported, said Zeng Guodong, chief prosecutor of Hongkou People’s Procuratorate.

In a simulation staged by prosecutors, it was shown that the explosion of a single container of fireworks and firecrackers could injury people within a 10 meter radius.

If convicted, the four face jail terms of three to seven years.


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