Gang arrested for illegal dumping in Ghana

Thousands of fridges, washing machines and tv sets for which consumers in the Netherlands have paid a recycling levy are being dumped illegally in Ghana, reports Wednesday’s Volkskrant.

Police have arrested eight people in connection with the illegal trade.
The gang leaders, three men who are related, were picked up in Deventer while five Ghanians were arrested in other parts of the Netherlands, the paper says.
The gang are alleged to have been operating in the east of the country for a number of years with the cooperation of shop-keepers who sold them used household apparatus.
Legally, retailers are only allowed to sell off these white goods to licenced recycling firms which are patially financed by public money.
The police also raided four warehouses where they found almost 2,400 used household goods.
According to Wim Hogenslag, head of the interregional environmental team which tracked down the gang, transporting these goods to Ghana was a lucrative business for the gang leaders.
The prosecution service has seized seven homes, business premises, trucks and cash. The three chief suspects, two of whom receive welfare benefits, also own 33 apartments in Turkey, the paper says.
The household goods are stripped of their valuable materials, such as copper, in Ghana, often by children. The dismantling process releases toxic substances, the paper says.

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