Environmental crime gets record jail sentence

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01 Sep 2016

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A record jail sentence has been handed out for environmental crime.

A Leeds waste operator has been jailed for a record seven years and six months for defrauding the electrical waste recycling industry out of £2.2 million. Environment Agency officers discovered that Terence Solomon Dugbo had falsified paperwork claiming that his company TLC Recycling had collected and recycled more than 19,500 tonnes of household electrical waste during 2011. Dugbo’s company had never handled this amount of waste and he was not entitled to the £2.2 million of recycling fees he received. Dugbo received the money through producer compliance schemes but the seized documents showed that his company was claiming money for waste collections from streets and properties that did not exist. Furthermore, the seized documents showed that vehicles used to transfer waste were recorded as being in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland on the same day. Some vehicles did not even exist and huge masses of waste were supposedly being carried by vehicles that could not carry such loads. The weights of individual items said to have been collected were also exaggerated. The company’s paperwork showed that the waste was being taken to the Leeds Reuse Centre for treatment, another business run by Dugbo. Dugbo had been disqualified from acting as a company director until 2017 due to previous convictions in 2013 for his involvement in a criminal network which illegally exported banned hazardous waste to Nigeria. Dugbo’s involvement in TLC Recycling was in breach of his disqualification and the company has since gone into liquidation. Dugbo also breached the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 by treating CFC gas cylinders on site when his permit did not allow such treatment. Dugbo was sentenced to concurrent terms of seven years six months in jail for fraud at Leeds Crown Court on 15 July 2016. Dugbo has also been disqualified again from acting as a company director for 12 years. The Environment Agency will now begin proceeds of crime case against Dugbo in an attempt to get back the £2.2 million.

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