A shipping company director has been given a suspended prison sentence for attempting to illegally export waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE).
Adam Bakour pleaded guilty to offences relating to the attempted shipment of six containers filled with WEEE to a number of countries in West Africa.
He was given 18 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. His company, Bakour Ltd, was fined £7,950 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs.
Reading Crown Court was told that Bakour offers a professional shipping service for WEEE.
The company obtained the items for shipment mainly from recycling centres, civic amenity sites and Sunday markets. The items included cathode ray tube TVs and fridge freezers, which contain hazardous components.
The company attempted to ship the containers between October 2011 and August 2013, and they were stopped by the Environment Agency (EA) before export to West Africa. In each instance, the containers were filled with items from and loaded at Bakour’s premises at Rushton Farm, Wokingham.
The EA told the court that Bakour was interviewed under caution about the containers. He maintained his company exported only working electrical goods and did not deliberately ship waste items. Bakour said his employees had not been carrying out their jobs properly.
EA officer Heather White said: “It’s a crime that shows a blatant disregard for the safety and welfare of overseas communities and the environment.”