‘Biggest’ Environment Agency waste exports case – fines for the criminal network

by Criminal Defence Blawg on December 13, 2012

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Guest post from a leading criminal law firm in London.

Fines were imposed last week in what the Environment Agency has described as the biggest waste exports case it has ever undertaken.

In all, eight men and three companies have been ordered to pay over £220,000 for the part they played in a criminal network that attempted to export broken electronics from the UK.

Hazardous televisions, fridges – some containing ozone depleting substances – and old computers were among the 450 tonnes of electronics illegally exported to Nigeria, Ghana and Pakistan, while the gang pocketed money by claiming to be reusing the waste legally and safely.

The sentencing of three men at Basildon Crown Court last week was the second part of the most complex legal action ever taken by the Environment Agency. The three defendants were ordered to pay a total of £142,145 in fines, costs and confiscations.  Another two defendants are still to face sentencing and a third is still at large.

The prosecution had to be split in two as there were 15 defendants in total – 11 men and four companies. Five men and three companies were convicted after a six-week trial in November 2011. They were ordered to pay a total of £78,000, although this could not be reported at the time because of reporting restrictions.

All defendants faced charges of shipping hazardous waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), for recovery to Nigeria, Ghana and Pakistan in breach of the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 and the European Waste Shipment Regulation 2006.

Waste crime is a global issue. Although functioning electronics can be exported to developing countries, sending hazardous waste to developing countries is illegal.

To arrange a consultation with Lewis Nedas’ (lewisnedas.co.uk) please contact criminal solicitors Jeffrey Lewis / Siobhain Egan.

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal law blogger at CriminalDefenceBlawg
Criminal Defence Blawg is a criminal law blog, sharing legal expertise and intelligence from the UK, US, Australia and beyond. Contributions from those who share great legal information. Want to get published? Contact us today.
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