Well, we saw this in Russia a few weeks ago. Russian custom authorities seized a full trailerload of R-22 disguised as R-134a at one of their docks. You can click here to read about that post. I didn’t see any follow up on rather they arrested the person responsible but I did just come across a new story from India where a business leader was importing R-22 from China and disguising it as R-134a.
Indian authorities had been searching for the mystery importer for three months and were finally able to narrow it down to ReFex Refrigerants out of Chennai India. Anil Jain was the alleged mastermind and was arrested by Indian authorities this week and is now awaiting trial.
The difference between this case and the former Russian case is that I believe in the Russian case the importer was selling the R-22 as R-22 and was just disguising it to get past import laws. With ReFex Refrigerants they were boxing and selling the R-22 refrigerant as R-134a. In my mind this is worse than the Russian case as using the wrong refrigerant could damage or even destroy his customer’s units, not to mention misleading your customers.
I’m wondering how many more of these cases are out there. How many people are making a lot of money skating past these laws? How many of these container shipments are checked? And lastly, is this happening in America as well?