Seremban, Malaysia CNN  — 

Dozens of laborers and factory operators sit hand-cuffed in rows on the pavement at an industrial park in Malaysia.

They’ve been detained in a government raid on unlicensed plastic recyclers as the country seeks to curb a growing illicit industry.

“It’s illegal,” said Yeo Bee Yin, Malaysia’s Minister of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change, who attended the raid and had invited journalists to watch.

Sources of plastic waste imports into China in 2016 and cumulative plastic waste export tonnage (in million MT) in 1988--2016. <a href="" target="_blank" target="blank">Expand the map</a>