18 Feb '11, 12am

Smuggling #ozone depleters undermines #Montreal Protocol; struggle to keep pace with environmental crime

BANGKOK - LAST November, detectives from India's Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized an innocent-looking shipment of gas cylinders that had arrived in New Delhi from the Middle East. They were labelled as R-134A, a gas used in refrigeration that does not deplete the ozone layer. But the enforcers had received a tip-off. The 1,139 cylinders, weighing 13.6kg each, did not contain R-134A. Instead, they contained R-22, an ozone-depleting gas restricted under the Montreal Protocol - a global treaty that aims to phase out ozone-destroying substances. The haul in India was just the latest in a series. A coordinated global drive between May and November last year yielded 7,500 cylinders containing 108 tonnes of illegal ozone-depleting substances, and more than 650 shipments of goods containing outlawed ozone-depleting chemicals. Ozone-depleting substances include a range of...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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