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Four Russians arrested in illegal refrigerant swoop

SPAIN: Four Russian nationals have been arrested in Spain accused of importing refrigerant from China in illegal disposable cylinders in breach of the European F-gas regulations and quota system.

Those arrested, three men and one woman, are said to have sold the illegal refrigerant gas in Barcelona and Girona through one of the most active web pages in Spain in the online marketing of refrigerants.

A total of 843 cylinders were seized in a joint operation named Fake Cold by Spain’s tax agency, the civil guard and Europol.

The investigation began in November 2020, when agents from the civil guard’s environmental protection service SEPRONA and customs surveillance officials learned of the receipt of shipments of R134a through ordinary parcel companies.

The refrigerant was discovered at the end of June when searches were carried out in a home, a warehouse and a law firm in the provinces of Barcelona and Girona.

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