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Shipping lines to bring back waste to UK for investigation and disposal

Three men have been arrested following an early morning operation at three properties in the Swindon area yesterday. The action is part of the Environment Agency’s ongoing investigations into containers of waste alleged to have been illegally exported from the UK to Brazil.

Officers from the Environment Agency’s National Environmental Crime Team raided premises with assistance from Wiltshire Police, who have arrested a 49-year old man, a 28-year old man and a 24-year old man in connection to the Environment Agency’s ongoing enquiry into the alleged illegal shipment of waste to Brazil.

For legal reasons, the three men cannot be identified.

The Environment Agency is working with the Brazilian authorities to investigate the origin of 99 shipping containers alleged to have been illegally exported from the UK to Brazil.

The Brazilian Institute for the Environment and the Renewable Resources (IBAMA) has reported that at least two of the containers have a mixture of household and clinical waste, including syringes and condoms. The Environment Agency however can not confirm this at this stage.

The Environment Agency is planning to carry out an investigation of the containers once they have been released by the Brazilian authorities and returned to the UK. It will then ensure the waste is handled and disposed of correctly.

The shipping lines contracted to transport the containers from the UK to Brazil have agreed to repatriate the containers to the UK at their own expense.

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.

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