According to an article in the UK-based Waste Management Review (MRW), eleven people have been named in a UK court in the biggest investigation into the illegal export of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) from the UK into developing countries.
Nine people were initially charged in relation to the case, but Havering Magistrates Court heard bail conditions of eleven people and four companies facing charges under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007 and European Waste Shipment Regulations 2006.
The four companies involved include:
- Orient Export, Essex
- Reliance Export, Essex
- Thorn International UK, Birmingham
- BJ Electronics UK, Greater London
Officers from the Environment Agency’s National Crime Team began investigations into the illegal WEEE export network in mid-2008.
Andy Higham, the EA’s National Crime Team Manager told MRW the case was “intelligence-led. It is a complex case and shows how seriously we take this matter.”
He added: “This is by far the biggest investigation of its kind ever conducted in England and Wales. The law is clear - it is a crime to export electrical waste items from the UK to developing countries.
He noted that waste electricals often contain hazardous materials and the last thing we want is our waste causing harm to people or the environment overseas.