The Environment Agencys National Environmental Crime Team raided premises, with help from the Wiltshire Police, and arrested a 49-year old man, a 28-year old man and a 24-year old man. The men cannot be identified for legal reasons.
Environment Agency head of waste and resource management Liz Parkes said: Todays arrests mark significant progress in our investigation into the alleged illegal export of waste from the UK to Brazil. We are working with the shipping lines for the return of the waste, at their own expense, and are planning to carry out an investigation of the containers once they have been released by Brazilian authorities and returned to the UK.
The Brazilian Institute for the Environment and the Renewable Resources (IBAMA) has reported that clinical waste such as condoms, syringes have been found among household waste.
Currently, the EA is working with the Brazilian authorities to find the origin of 99 shipping containers that have allegedly been illegally exported from the UK. Initial media reports stated 64 containers of waste had been found across three Brazilian ports.
Those responsible for exporting the waste to Brazil could be subject to unlimited fines and custodial sentences.