Six people have been arrested for alleged waste offences and human trafficking after a large-scale investigation by the Environment Agency (EA).
The suspects reportedly dumped illegal waste at a number of sites in Bristol, Scunthorpe and Newark in Nottinghamshire.
The police supported more than 40 EA officers for dawn raids on a number of addresses on 10 March as part of Operation Encore.
The Home Office Immigration Enforcement Agency was also present after it was suspected that illegal workers were operating at the sites.
Additionally, the EA is investigating links to an abandoned waste transfer site in Orpington that was run by Waste4Fuel.
Head of the EA’s National Investigation Team Andy Higham said: “Following a covert investigation, we have worked with the police to arrest suspects and secure evidence. Our enquiries will continue to probe the full extent of suspected offending.”
The Waste4Fuel site has been under EA jurisdiction for many months following the company’s insolvency after the agency revoked its permit due to a number of failures.
The company abandoned the site, leaving a huge pile of untreated rubbish which prompted parliamentary attention from a group of local MPs who called for tougher financial restrictions on waste companies to avoid similar pile-ups in the future.
Resource minister Dan Rogerson said: “While it is not appropriate to comment on these arrests, we support the EA in taking a robust approach to tackle crime.”