Asia's second-hand clothes sold in Guangdong markets

Carrie Chan

Illegally imported second-hand clothes from all over Asia are turning up for sale in Guangdong, state media reported.

In Lufeng city alone, more than 10,000 stalls are said to be involved in the wholesale and retail of used clothes from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, the Guangdong-based Information Times said yesterday.

Tonnes of used clothes were shipped each day to Lufeng, where wholesalers brushed them off and sold them for about five yuan (HK$4.7) each, it said.

The report said it was not uncommon for more than 420 tonnes of clothes to be imported in just 10 days.

It said an average of 600 people from the other parts of the country travelled to Jieshi township in Lufeng each month to visit the clothes markets there. Many of the buyers were rural farmers and urban poor.

The maximum sentence for illegally importing second-hand clothes is a 10-year jail term.

Press reports warned that many of the clothes had been gathered from rubbish dumps and might be riddled with germs.

Lufeng officials were unavailable for comment yesterday.