U.K.’s Environment Agency Charges Nine with Illegal Electronic Scrap Shipments

Charges follow a two-year investigation by government agency.

October 19, 2010
Recycling Today Staff

Following a two-year investigation by the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency (EA), nine people have been charged with the illegal export of electronic scrap from the U.K. to West Africa.

In a press release, the EA calls the case the largest investigation into illegal electrical scrap exports from the U.K. to West Africa. The nine have been charged with offenses under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 and European Waste Shipment Regulations 2006, both of which prohibit the import and export of waste that could damage human health or the environment.
Andy Higham, EA National Environmental Crime Team manager, says, “Over the past two years painstaking intelligence work by Environment Agency officers has uncovered a web of individuals and companies that appear to be making considerable sums of money by exporting electrical waste overseas.”
Officers from the EA National Crime Team began their investigations in mid-2008, uncovering a network of individuals, waste companies and export businesses allegedly involved in the export of electrical waste.
According to the EA, it is alleged in some instances that considerable sums of money changed hands in deals to collect and recycle electrical waste while avoiding treatment costs.
The nine people charged are slated to go before the Havering Magistrates Court Nov. 11.