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California Company Charged With Smuggling Hazardous Chemicals

A California-based chemical company has been indicted on charges of smuggled chemicals and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

A California-based chemical company has been indicted on charges of smuggled chemicals and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

Federal prosecutors announced on Friday that charges are being brought against Peiwen Zhou, the 53-year-old CEO of AK Scientific, based in Union City.

The prosecutors allege that Zhou intentionally mislabeled and improperly packaged chemicals as hazardous waste and then transported the materials. According to the indictment, Zhou purchased the materials as “research and specialty chemicals” from several countries including Poland, South Korea, India and New Zealand. Zhou then sold the chemicals to laboratories and universities.

AK Scientific’s website says the company is a “worldwide leader of fine chemical development, manufacturing and supply.” The company sells a wide range of chemicals for research including building blocks, intermediates and reagents.

Zhou faces up to 25 years in prison and $500,000 in fines for both charges. AK Scientific could also be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

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