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Eight people investigated for the illegal traffic of more than 5,700 tons of plastic waste

The Spanish Civil Guard, with the collaboration of Europol in the so-called Plastics operation, has investigated eight people for the alleged illegal traffic of more than 5,700 tons of plastic waste and has carried out a total of 141 inspections of companies that manage this waste.

The operation began due to the alarming increase in illegal waste traffic in recent years, which stands out among the environmental crimes linked to organized crime in Europe, due to the associated penalties, the difficulty of control and the wide margin of benefits.

Faced with this situation, Europol began Operational Action 2.4 on illegal waste trafficking and management, belonging to the EMPACT (European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats) on serious environmental crimes, leading the Civil Guard action aimed at combating trafficking and waste management. plastic waste. During the operational phase, inspections were carried out on managers of plastic waste or in containers belonging to them and prepared for export.In the province of León, a company has been identified that is clandestinely storing a large amount of plastic waste from other autonomous communities with the aim of eventually abandoning it or setting it on fire. 

In the Port of Barcelona, ​​40 tons of plastic waste have been intervened and a company and its two managers are being investigated for the illegal transfer of 43,220kg of plastic waste. Another company also located in Barcelona would have transferred to France 222,682 kg of material declared as plastic, when in reality it was plastic waste.

In Palencia, a company has been investigated that would be engaged in the management and irregular transfer of both plastic waste and electrical and electronic equipment waste, without having any type of authorization or control mechanism.

Another company investigated in the province of Jaén, was dedicated to extracting plastic waste from vehicles at the end of their useful life to later send them illegally, camouflaged as raw material. It would have sent 900 tons to Thailand, 98 to Hong Kong, 312 to Malaysia and 2,302 to Morocco. 

Two people have been investigated for these events.In the province of Alicante, another company has been investigated that, without having an activity license, was engaged in the illegal management and storage of waste, including plastic waste, for its subsequent illegal export.The actions have been coordinated with the Fiscal Service of the Civil Guard and with Customs Surveillance, due to the cross-border nature of these exports to third countries.