Three men arrested over Brazilian toxic waste shipment

by Stephen Hurrell. Published Fri 24 Jul 2009 14:25, Last updated: 2009-07-24
The containers were marked as recyclable plastic.

The Environment Agency has arrested three men in connection with the alleged illegal shipment of toxic waste from England to Brazil.

Three males aged 24, 28 and 49 were arrested early this morning in the Swindon area. Wiltshire Police and the Environment Agency’s National Environment Crime Team raided premises this morning as part of investigations into alleged waste being illegally exported from the UK to Brazil.

The men cannot be named for legal reasons and have now been released on bail.

The Environment Agency said it could not yet confirm what waste had been found in the containers, but confirmed that the waste would be shipped back to the UK for safe disposal once the containers have been released by the Brazilian authorities.

Liz Parkes, Head of Waste and Resource Management at the Environment Agency, said: “Today’s arrests mark significant progress in our investigation into the alleged illegal export of waste from the UK to Brazil. We are working with the shipping lines for the return of the waste, at their own expense, and are planning to carry out a investigation of the containers once they have been released by Brazilian authorities and returned to the UK.

“The Environment Agency enforces the export of recyclable waste from England and Wales, and will not hesitate to prosecute any company or individuals found to have breached the strict laws on the export of waste.

“The United Kingdom has taken a strong global lead to stamp out the illegal waste trade, in order to protect people and the environment.”

The waste was discovered in three ports in Rio Grande do Sul and Sao Paulo between February and May. The containers were incorrectly labelled as recyclable plastic.

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