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DPP lawmaker wants stronger penalties for illegal fireworks plants

DPP lawmaker wants stronger penalties for illegal fireworks plants

Fines on the illegal manufacturing of fireworks should be raised because their present level made it impossible to stop the dangerous practice, opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Chen Ming-wen said yesterday.
Explosions of illegal fireworks factories, often hidden inside former farm buildings, have repeatedly caused loss of life.
Under present regulations, people responsible for the illegal production of fireworks and firecrackers can be condemned to a prison term of up to three years and to a maximum fine of NT$3 million.
Chen said that judges in his native region of Chiayi County, where he served as magistrate for eight years, issued verdicts that were far too light. The operators of illegal factories were never afraid of the law and just continued producing illegal fireworks, endangering nearby residents, he said.
The lawmaker said he wanted to set a minimum fine of NT$300,000. In the event of fatalities, the manufacturer should serve three to ten years in prison and pay between NT$2 million and NT$10 million, Chen said.
If an explosion caused grave injuries but no deaths, those found guilty should serve between one and seven years in jail and pay fines ranging from NT$1 million to NT$5 million, according to Chen's proposal.
Chiayi County fire chief Lu Ching-hai said that out of six cases in the past three years, four cases led to prison sentences of just three months. However, present regulations stipulated that the convicted could avoid jail by paying just NT$100,000, far less than the NT$300,000 cost of storing the firecrackers, Lu said.


Updated : 2021-06-15 18:58 GMT+08:00