Wednesday 06 July 2022

Two arrests in Probo Koala scandal (update)

Two executives from Amsterdam Port Services (APS) arrested in connection with the Probo Koala toxic waste scandal were released on Friday but remain suspects, reports ANP. APS is the processing firm that was initially commissioned to clean up the ship’s chemical waste.

The two men are suspected of breaking regulations concerning the import and export of waste materials, contravening pollution laws and falsifying documents.
APS on Friday denied its employees had been held in custody. According to a company spokesman, the two men had only been questioned by police. He would not say what the men are accused of. ‘That won’t help the case and is nobody’s business,’ he told ANP.
An arrest warrant has also been issued for the ship’s captain who is currently abroad.
Trafigura, the Amstelveen registered owners of the Probo Koala, is also under investigation and documents from the company have been seized, reports today’s Volkskrant.
Trafigura initially commissioned APS to process 500 tonnes of waste from the Probo Koala but when this turned out to be too expensive, demanded the material to be pumped back into the ship. A month later the waste was dumped in Ivory Coast causing an environmental disaster and the death of 10 people.
An investigation commissioned by Amsterdam council has already concluded that city was powerless to prevent the ship leaving the port, but said the waste should not have been pumped back.
Earlier this week the Dutch agreed to contribute €1m towards the clean up operation in Ivory Coast. Trafigura and the Ivory Coast authorities have also reached a €152m settlement. At least two law firms, one in London and one in the Netherlands, are also planning to sue on behalf of the victims.

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