23 jailed for smuggling refined oil in China

Twenty-three people have been sent to jail for up to 15 years by a court in eastern China for smuggling refined oil.

The gang members were fined and sentenced to jail terms for up to 15 years, while their smuggling vessels, two oil tankers, were confiscated, Nanjing Customs said, citing a statement from Yangzhou City Intermediate People's Court in Jiangsu Province.

In November last year, Yangzhou Customs staff found an oil tanker coded "Haiguanshan No.66" was illegally transporting refined oil products in ports along the Yangzhou section of the Yangtze River.

Further investigation showed another oil tanker was also involved.

Yangzhou Customs found that the smugglers had asked overseas ships to dock in international waters, and sent the oil in Chinese ships.