Gang Arrested in Spain’s Canary Islands for Shipping Hazardous Waste to Africa

Seventeen Russian artillery systems destroyed by Ukraine in latest combat losses update. Image: Ukraine MoD

SEPRONA, the nature service of the Guardia Civil on Tenerife in the Canary Islands has arrested 34 people suspected of illegally exporting hazardous waste to a number of different African countries.

Fronted by an Italian woman who allegedly forged documents stating that the goods were second-hand but in working order, she obtained genuine export documents which allowed the gang to fill containers with a selection of motor vehicles, vehicle parts, household goods, used electrical and electronic equipment.

The material was either found discarded in rubbish tips or purchased cheaply at flea markets and was sold in Africa for scrap where it was stripped of anything of worth with whatever was left over being simply discarded.

When viewing the Italian woman’s records, it appears that in 2018 and 2019 alone, some 2,460 tons of waste were shipped, of which 740 tons were electronic equipment including refrigerators which release toxic gasses if not disposed of properly.

Many African countries have far less stringent laws concerning disposal of dangerous waste material and it was found that goods had been delivered to Senegal, Ghana, Gambia, Togo, Benin, Guinea Conakry and Sierra Leone with the bulk going to Nigeria.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Share your story with us by emailing [email protected], by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page


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