Chinese builder fined for planting invasive grass in Vietnam

TN News

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Agricultural authorities in Lao Cai have fined a Chinese company VND8.2 million (US$394) for planting foreign grass without permits in the northern moutainous province.

The punishment was given to Huang Yong, the director of Guangxi Road and Bridge Construction Company, which was building parts of an expressway between Lao Cai and Hanoi.

The company smuggled 250 kilograms of Bermuda grass and 50 kilograms of pigeon peas to Vietnam and had planted them along the expressway in Lao Cai.

It did not inform Vietnamese plant quarantine authorities before the import and the shipment was not accompanied by safety certificates from China either.

Further planting has been banned and Yong was asked to have the grass and seeds checked by authorities to ensure their safety.

The grass and seeds were part of the construction project, but the company was told that it would not receive payment for the section because the grass and seeds were deemed illegal.

Agricultural experts said authorities should be careful as introducing foreign species can be dangerous to local ecosystems.

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