The groups have been operating systematic clearances from textile banks in gargantuan proportions according to TRA president Terry Ralph.
In a speech at the Bureau of International Recycling meeting in Brussels earlier this week Ralph told the audience: One national hospital charity has reported losses to the serious crime squad and the money laundering authorities of about 50% of their collection.
He told MRW today that following an investigation into the theft of textile collections ahead of legitimate textile collectors, one rogue collector was convicted in a London magistrates court last month. According to Ralph the rogue collector, who was found with four tonnes of stolen donations, received a hefty fine.
This comes a few months after reports of bogus charity collectors taking doorstep clothes donations and selling them on for profit. Wiltshire trading standards warned in August that leaflets were being dropped through letter boxes asking for unwanted clothing for distribution to poor countries. But some were in fact from people seeking commercial gain. It warned the public to check for charity numbers on flyers.
The fear factor of bogus collections was later attributed to the decline in blue box donations by North East Derbyshire District Council, who also noticed an increase in depot collections.