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Bradford man caught trying to send e-waste to Afghanistan

A Bradford man has been found guilty of illegally exporting waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) to Afghanistan, resulting in a fine and costs of £12,200.

Director of Quest International Trading Naveed Sohail was found guilty of four offences, which include; attempting to export hazardous electrical waste to a developing country and storing hazardous WEEE without an environmental permit.

Sohail was fined £1,000 for each offence and ordered to pay full prosecution costs £8,200.

On a visit in July 2009, Environment Agency officers expressed concern over the way some items were packaged inside a container and offered Sohail advice on exporting electrical items legally. Then on 1 September 2009 a container on its way to Afghanistan was returned to Quest after checks identified the contents as WEEE. EA officers found that computer monitors at the front were wrapped in clingfilm but as officers searched deeper into the container, there were some items labelled as faulty, damaged and packaged “haphazardly”.

The EA found over 70% of the contents were broken and should have been recycled as waste in the UK. Sohail denied dealing in waste and said the company randomly checked items which came in from customers. Quest had no records of carrying out testing.

EA special enforcement officer Roy Howitt said: “The last thing we want is our electrical waste causing harm to people or the environment overseas; and Afghanistan does not have the infrastructure to recycle electrical items safely.” 


  • In other WEEE news, an additional four defendants involved in the EA’s largest WEEE investigation have been committed to stand trial at Basildon Crown Court. This takes the total defendants facing charges on 11 March to 15.
    Thorn International UK, Michael Sirpal Singh and Chika Ezeemo had contested evidence against them when they attended a hearing at Havering Magistrates Court.

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