The head of an illegal waste company faces a five-year prison sentence if he does not repay more than £800,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Amrik Johal pleaded guilty to five charges of causing controlled waste to be kept in breach of Section 33 of the Environment Protection Act 1990 at Bracknell Magistrates’ Court. He was subsequently ordered to pay £881,513 on 7 July at Reading Crown Court under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, and given a two-year community sentence on 4 August 2011 at Reading Crown Court.
It was found that Johal was operating an illegal waste transfer station and scrap metal yard in Slough, which had a serious effect on local residents from the noise of cars being crushed and floodlights shining at night.
The courts heard of numerous visits to his site by Environment Agency (EA) officers in March 2006 and 2007, when they warned Johal that he did not have the correct authorisations for the waste activities. Officers found skips of electronic equipment, engines and cables rising 9m high, piles of green waste, tyres, mixed wood, metal and other waste, as well as ‘Johal skip hire’ branded skips.
The court also heard about Johal’s previous convictions for similar illegal waste offences. He was interviewed under caution in March 2007, where he denied any involvement in any waste activities on the site, but later admitted to running a skip hire business when he was interviewed by Thames Valley Police for other matters.
Environment crime officer Morgan Lound said: “Through the site visits, Johal was aware that he was acting illegally. His illegal activities were harmful to the environment, undermined legitimate businesses and have caused distress to local residents for many years.
“We are particularly satisfied with the confiscation order of £881,513, and the threat of five years’ imprisonment if he does not pay, because the EA wants to make sure that serious waste crime does not pay. For years Johal has presided over an extensive and unlawful operation that has competed with law-abiding operators.”