Contractors dumping dredged mud in river forced to clean up their act

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Vessels collect mud they sneakily discharged back in the Thi Vai River after dredging it

Two contractors have started to collect mud they had clandestinely dumped back in a river in southern Vietnam after dredging it.

Thanh Nien had earlier exposed their act of dredging the Thi Vai River in Vung Tau and dumping the mud back in virtually the same place instead of taking it out to a spot at sea 10 km away to save fuel.

Thuan Phat and Tung Mai companies, who were subcontracted by Korea's Seohee Construction, are now being overseen by authorities from several agencies.

On April 25 Seohee, one of the two dredging contractors for a section of river near Posco Portassured the Vung Tau Port Authority that its sub-contractors would clear up the mess they had made.

Between February and April Thanh Nien found six dredges and around 10 barges working on the river but mostly in the evening and night -- to prevent detection, as it turns out.

The dredges would scoop up around 1,000 tons of mud in three to four hours, and most of the barges would merely cross the 700-meter river section and dump it near the opposite bank, returning in less than 20 minutes.

One barge was even found dumping the mud on the same side without even bothering to cross.

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It would have taken them six to eight hours to carry the mud out to Buoy Zero at sea, where they were supposed to dump it, and return.

Thanh Nien saw the barges head out to Buoy Zero very few times.

The 76-kilometer Thi Vai River flows through the provinces of Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Dong Nai and has over 20 international ports.

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