Monday, February 27, 2017

AK Scientific hit with federal indictment for mislabeling shipping manifests

Also in this week's C&EN, I'm glad to read the government is monitoring those who cheat the regulatory system in shipping of compounds (emphasis mine): 
A federal grand jury has indicted lab chemical supplier AK Scientific, based in Union City, Calif., and its owner, Peiwen Zhou, for smuggling and illegally shipping hazardous chemicals. 
According to allegations contained in the indictment, Zhou told his employees to purchase hazardous chemicals (using false names) from suppliers in China. The indictment also charges that Zhou told employees to ship chemicals to customers in the U.S. and abroad without labeling them as hazardous. 
Reached via e-mail, an AK spokesperson describes the company’s hazardous materials shipment program as “industry leading.” He adds that “AK Scientific looks forward to working with the government to reach a just and reasonable conclusion.” 
If convicted, Zhou faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the smuggling charge alone. AK faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and several years of probation. 
The indictment alleges, for instance, that AK smuggled 25 kg of the carcinogenic reagent 1,2-dibromoethane from China in 2012 with shipping papers describing the package contents as “Bema Inkjet Ink.
 Something tells me Mr. Zhou will settle with the US Attorney. 

4 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever received a package from China where they didn't fib on the shipping documents - enclosing an MSDS for water or something like that. They even feel compelled to do this for non-hazardous, innocuous chemicals for some weird reason.

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    1. I had a project held up for months when a Chinese firm sent us a non-GHS compliant SDS. While the material was interesting technically, we couldn't ship it to our partners. When we told the Chinese firm what the problem with the SDS was, they just shrugged and said that no one else had complained. Gaah.

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  2. Working at a CRO, we have many vendors and clients that ask to ship us materials, whether samples or manufacturing-sized shipments, labelled as something else. We tell them no and most of the time they comply, but some do not, even when they are being shipped domestically (USA).

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  3. If Mr. Zhou goes to jail, the Bachman-Turner Overdrive song "Takin' Care of Business" should be played in his cell 27/7.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmwic9kFx2c

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