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RDF firm bosses told to repay £1.1m of criminal earnings

Two former directors of refuse-derived fuel (RDF) firm Lancashire Fuels 4 U have been given three months to pay back a more than a million pounds for illegally running a waste site.

The order against Peter Ogg and Paul Baison was under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), in a case brought by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

Lancashire Fuels 4 U produced RDF pellets and briquettes from wood and other waste. NRW initially allowed a limited operation at a site in Saltney, Flintshire, but Baison and Ogg broke the conditions the agency had laid down.

The pair ignored demands from NRW that operations be scaled down. In addition, two fires broke out at the site, in May 2014 and May 2015.

In September 2015, Ogg was given a 12-month suspended jail terms for illegally storing waste “in a manner likely to cause harm to human health”. Baison was given an 11-month suspended jail term in September 2016 for the same offences. Both were banned from being a company director for seven years.

NRW then launched a POCA case in an attempt to confiscate the profits made by the defendants while they ran the illegal site.

Following a hearing at Caernarfon Crown Court on 17 August, Ogg was ordered to pay £694,481.77, the full amount that he was judged to have benefitted by from running the business illegally.

Baison was ordered to come up with £433,500 of the full amount, based on his ability to pay. Both were also ordered to pay legal costs of £58,189.

Ogg and Baison have three months to come up with the money or face four years in prison.

A compliance order was also made requiring Ogg to remain within the UK until the confiscation order is paid in full. He was also told to surrender his passport to the police for that period.

 

Readers' comments (1)

  • The title to this piece associates the criminal activity with RDF, when it is just a criminal waste activity. The picture shows a heap of waste product, which is not RDF as there was clearly no end market for the material in accordance with the definition of Refuse Derived Fuel.

    Indeed the company claim their core activities were being 'Leaders in high calorific biomass solid fuel generation, from sustainable sources, that do not require the felling of trees, which can no longer be considered a sustainable resource.'

    On that basis the connection between the business and RDF is speculative only.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The report from NRW - as indicated here - is that it was an RDF firm. There is no speculation: they were collecting pellets for RDF. There is no association between crime and the wider, legal, RDF industry in general.

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