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Vietnam's known polluters continue to discharge untreated waste

Ho Chi Minh City police caught five businesses previously reprimanded for polluting the environment continuing to discharge untreated waste into local water sources on Thursday.

All five firms are based in Dong Hung Thuan Ward, District 12 and all had previously received warnings from the city authorities for pollution.

The check on Thursday found the firms, most of them garment companies, not having bothered to right the wrong, Tuoi Tre reported.

One of them, Anh Nhat fashion company, was found discharging all its wastewater into the Tham Luong canal via a backdoor.

The company, which has been operating from December 2008 without a waste treatment plant, was fined nearly VND78 million (US$3,700) last year for the improper discharge of sewage and gas emissions.

During the Thursday check, police also found the Tham Luong canal receiving around 60 cubic meters of wastewater, most of it dye, from Phu Loc cloth producer, police found.

Vu Thi Huynh Thi, the company director, said it was discharging the wastewater in that way for only a few days as the waste treatment system was broken.

The company was fined once in June 2010.

Nguyen Huu Tin, vice chairman of the city People's Committee, said at a conference on pollution on Thursday that polluted water is a persistent problem in the city.

"We have made some achievements, but given the demands of the current pollution situation, we have not done much," Tin said.

Reports at the conference showed that the situation at the infamous Ba Bo Canal on the border of the city and Binh Duong Province has not improved much as local residents and nearby industry zones still use it as a garbage dump.