17523264_sRUSSIA: The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has made a number of arrests in connection with a major ozone-depleting refrigerant smuggling operation. 

As a result of investigations, three people have been arrested, with one under house arrest. Authorities seized more than a thousand cylinders containing illegal CFCs R11 and R12 and the HCFCs R22 and R141b which are controlled under Russia’s Montreal Protocol obligations.

Thought to be of Chinese origin, the haul also contained Chinese-made bottling equipment as well as printing equipment, documents and labels.

If convicted, those arrested face prison sentences of 7 to 12 years with a fine of up to RUB1,000,000 (£17,000).