Four defendants in the largest Environment Agency (EA) investigation into waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) export entered a ‘not guilty’ plea when they appeared at Basildon Crown Court on 8 April.
The remaining 11 defendants, facing charges relating to illegally shipping waste under the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Shipment Regulation 2006, did not enter a plea as they are ‘pending legal arguments’.
The pleas were listed as follows:
- Birmingham-based company Thorn International UK Limited - not guilty
- Essex-based Reliance Export Limited - no plea
- London-based BJ Electronics Limited - no plea
- Essex-based Orient Export Limited - no plea
- Joseph Benson - no plea
- Terence Dugbo - not guilty
- Nnamdi Ezechukwu - no plea
- Godwin Ezeemo - no plea
- Prince Ibeh - no plea
- Emmanuel Mukete - not guilty
- Adrian Thompson - not guilty
- Michael Sirpal Singh Aulakh - no plea
- Chika Ezeemo - no plea
- Krassimir Vengelov - no plea
A provisional court date has been set for 17 October.
The EA originally named nine people in the case, following a two year intelligence-led investigation into the case. The defendants are accused of being involved in the illegal export of waste. In some cases it is claimed considerable sums of money were involved to collect and recycle WEEE while treatment costs were avoided.