Spain arrests criminal group smuggling e-waste to Africa

London, June 30, 2020 (AltAfrica)- Spanish authorities have dismantled a criminal network that smuggled some 2,500 tonnes of e-waste, including discarded and hazardous electronic equipment, from Spain’s Canary Islands to several countries in Africa.

An organised crime group has been dismantled by the Spanish Civil Guard SEPRONA, with the support of Europol and the Italian Carabinieri for illegally moving hazardous e-waste from the Canary Islands to several countries in Africa. Those arrested are also suspected of document fraud to carry out their illegal activities. (Europol)750 000 kg of electrical waste and electronic equipment was among the waste seized by the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) after a two-year investigation.

Spain’s Civil Guard arrested 34 people, including a 62-year-old Italian woman who owned a trading business and allegedly forged custom clearance documents for the arrival and departure of the cargo from the port of Santa Cruz, in Tenerife.


The European police coordination body, Europol, and Italy’s Carabinieri also supported the two-year investigation into the environmental crime, a Civil Guard statement said.

The suspects loaded maritime containers with second-hand items such as vehicle parts and household goods. A third of the contents was e-waste. They were sent mainly to Nigeria, but also other African countries, where they were to be sold on to buyers there. The network allegedly sourced the equipment from bins, flea markets and industrial dumps.

Electronic devices can contain cadmium, mercury, lead, arsenic, oils, gases and other substances that can harm the environment or human health when they are not properly handled.

The Civil Guard said that informal operations in developing countries, often employing underage workers, use open fires to melt some parts in order to extract aluminum and copper among other minerals that fetch a high value when resold.

The post Spain arrests criminal group smuggling e-waste to Africa appeared first on Alternative Africa.

Read on source website...

Author: is an independent Pan African News Website dedicated primarily to influencing the negative narratives about Africa. We hope to do this by focussing and showcasing the many developmental strides sweeping across the continent. is published by Alternative Communications and Media Ltd Our aim is to be the world’s most accurate and comprehensive African news aggregator, bringing you the latest headlines about Africa from the best news sites and other key national and international sources devoid of negative bias In line with our mission, we will give prominence to trade, science and technology, education, sports, culture and tourism as well as other developmental projects that impact positively on the continent and advance the economic and social wellbeing of her people