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Florida Freight Forwarding Company Pleads Guilty to Hazmat Charges

Laparkan Trading Limited Company (Laparkan), Miami, FL, a freight forwarding company, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Miami for willfully offering hazmat in transportation. The hazardous cargo (e.g., phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, and potassium hydroxide) was received from Seaboard Marine Ltd. (Seaboard) in 55-gallon drums and boxes for inspection, inventorying, and production of a required Hazmat documentation. Laparkan employees discovered that cargo was leaking, failed to notify proper authorities, and then contacted Seaboard to retrieve the entire load - which was later found abandoned and leaking Hazmat in a Hialeah, FL warehouse district. Although no persons were physically harmed in this case, exposure to the noxious acid fumes may cause breathing problems. Some materials are also flammable. Laparkan is scheduled for sentencing on May 10, 2005. (Seaboard pled guilty to illegally transporting hazardous cargo, with sentencing set for March 24, 2005.) The investigation is being conducted jointly with the FL Department of Environmental Protection and the Miami-Dade Police Department, with assistance from FMCSA.