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Five arrested at refrigerant recovery business

SPAIN: Five executives of an electrical and electronic waste recycling company responsible for the recovery of refrigerant throughout Andalusia have been arrested for a series of alleged crimes.

Two other workers at Recilec, based in Aznalcóllar, Seville, are also being investigated.

They are charged with crimes against the environment and natural resources, cross-border transfer of waste, against workers’ rights, fraud, documentary forgery, misappropriation, unfair administration, in addition to the possible involvement of one of them in money laundering.

The company has a monopoly in Andalusia for recovering refrigerant from waste air conditioning and refrigeration equipment as well as from the insulation in electric water heaters.

The operation by Spain’s Civil Guard began three years ago following information from its nature protection division, Seprona, related to transboundary shipments of hazardous waste by the company from Gibraltar.

In addition to refrigerants, Seprona has detected the lack of treatment of other types of waste considered very dangerous, the handling of which could have put the health of the company’s workers at risk, in addition to causing damage to the environment.

It’s alleged that falsification of the amounts of waste that had been treated enabled those involved to defraud the government of €16m in recent years.

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