UN criticises Dutch handling of toxic ship

The Dutch government and Amsterdam city council should have taken stronger measures against the ship Probo Koala, owned by oil trader Trafigura, which dumped toxic waste in Ivory Coast in 2006 because it was too expensive to process in Amsterdam, reports Wednesday’s Volkskrant.

The criticism comes from the special rapporteur on the UN human rights council Okechukwu Ibeanu who has been investigating the case.
Ibeanu ‘regrets’ that permission was given for the ship to leave Amsterdam. This contributed to the fact that waste was dumped in the Ivory Coast city of Abdijan, killing several people and making thousands ill, says the Volkskrant.
Possibilities for blocking the ship’s departure from the Netherlands were not fully considered, according to Ibeanu.
The Probo Koala was moored in Amsterdam for cleaning but left after waste disposal experts questioned the contents of its tanks, officially described officially as ‘ship’s slops’.
Ibeanu says Amstelveen-based firm Trafigura should not have sent the waste to an unknown company in Africa as it was aware that the waste could only be safely treated in the Netherlands.

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