Squealing for cash

INDIVIDUALS aware of illegal coal mining activity in one province of China may now become up to100,000 yuan ($US12,500) richer for reporting it to authorities.

Donna Schmidt

The country’s south-central province of Hunan is issuing cash rewards to people who report illegal or dangerous operations as well as deception to cover up a fatal accident, which can amount to between 1000 yuan ($US125) and 10,000 yuan ($US1250).

A reward of up to 100,000 yuan will be given to those who turn in government representatives that own mine shares illegally, according to Chinese media organisation Xinhua.

The reward system has been announced in the wake of China’s crackdown on illegal mining operations and corruption. The province also announced earlier this month that it will assess a fine equal to 1 million yuan, or $US123,456, for each death resulting from an accident at an illegal mine.

Xinhua also reported Monday that mine operators have been charged with disregarding miners’ safety, and one province recently announced regulations that would require owners or management to go underground with workers.

Chinese officials said from January to September of this year, 4,228 workers lost their lives in 2,337 mining accidents; additionally, more than a half dozen accidents have been reported in the last month in the country.

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