Date
12 December 2017
Smoke billows from an explosion site at Tianjin's Binhai New area, in what was one of China's worst man-made disasters. Photo: Reuters
Smoke billows from an explosion site at Tianjin's Binhai New area, in what was one of China's worst man-made disasters. Photo: Reuters

Logistics firm comes under scrutiny after deadly Tianjin blasts

Rui Hai International Logistics, whose warehouse has been at the center of the deadly Tianjin blasts last week, is suspected to have stored large amount of hazardous chemicals without full licenses, contrary to what local authorities had claimed, Ming Pao Daily reported.

Rui Hai’s violation of safety and environmental regulations is believed to be the reason that led to the explosions in the Chinese port city that have so far resulted in an official death toll of 114 and dozens still missing, the report said, citing industry insiders and local media. 

The company, which was one of the three that were allowed to store seven types of hazardous materials at Tianjin’s Binhai New Area, is said to have acquired some qualifications to deal with dangerous chemicals in just three years since its establishment.

The development points to the company’s influence, sources were quoted as saying.

A businessman who has been involved in logistics activities for more than 20 years at the Tianjin port was quoted as saying that it is impossible for a private company to be licensed to store hazardous material.

Even a state-owned firm such as CMST Development Co. that has been engaged in comprehensive logistics businesses has not been able to secure such permission, he said.

China’s Credit Information Disclosure System for Enterprises Nationwide shows the legal representative of Rui Hai is a person named Zhi Feng.

Zhi is said to have been hospitalized after sustaining serious injury in the blasts. He doesn’t own any shares of the company, according to the report.

Li Liang, who holds 55 percent of Rui Hai, was no where to be found since the accident while Shu Zheng, who holds 45 percent, claimed that he is just a civil servant holding the shares on behalf of “friends”.

Caijing reported on its webiste that the person who has been actually controlling Rui Hai Logistics from behind the curtain is Dong Mengmeng, the son of Dong Peijun who was a former chief of public security bureau at Tianjin port.

Dong Mengmeng had been taken away by the police for investigation, according to a Beijing News report.

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TL/AC/RC

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