Two held over inspector's death in Zhejiang pollution probe

China | REUTERS 4 Dec 2018

Police have detained two people in Zhejiang province following the death of an inspector looking into environmental violations, the China Daily reported.

The inspector, Chen Ben, was part of an enforcement team organized by the environment and police bureaus in the city of Wenling. He was investigating a pollution case when he was run over by a vehicle driven by the two men on Saturday evening. China has traditionally struggled to ensure its environmental policies are properly implemented, with local governments sometimes reluctant to crack down on profitable industries.

Inspectors routinely face obstruction and cover-ups, as well as threats of violence. In August, environmental protection officers in Shaanxi province were beaten up by construction workers during an inspection. Beijing has sought to strengthen its environmental bureaus and increase punishments for firms that refuse to cooperate with inspectors. It says enforcement rates are improving.

China prosecuted more than 3,500 people for pollution-related crimes in the first 10 months of the year, up nearly 40 percent on a year ago.

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