The Basque police opened a criminal investigation of environmental crime on a total of 17 junkyards in the Basque Country, which found evidence of mismanagement of waste electrical and electronic equipment and other hazardous materials.

The case, which has helped the Department of Environment of the Basque Government, is now open and is settled with 10 defendants and police report that will be left to the specialist in these crimes prosecution. According to the Department of Safety, research, called 'Hondakina' began last March following a complaint from a company in the recycling sector had detected illegal practices in the treatment of hazardous waste in some junkyards.

The investigation reached up to about fifty local junkyards and other used materials collection and culminated yesterday with a surprise inspection and simultaneously in junkyards 17: 14 in Bizkaia, two in Álava and Gipuzkoa. All of them have been confirmed to be working illegally and without permits. Also found decontaminated waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and batteries and other remnants of life vehicles (ELVs).


Also in most of the centers have been found irregular activity in the sector known as "cannibalization" which involves removing the most valuable components of electrical and electronic equipment without applying protocols recycling, hazardous therefore pollution atmosphere, soil, water and atmosphere. During these inspections were also found five trucks carrying scrap and WEEE without being authorized to do so.

The operation has resulted in the charge of a crime against the natural resources and the environment to 10 people, responsible for such establishments. Minutes where irregularities were identified in these 17 centers police report should be attached to the rest of the investigation. These proceedings will be posted in the coming days available to the Prosecutor of Environment and Planning of the three provinces of the autonomous community.

In research conducted by the Section of Environment and Planning, Central Criminal Investigation Section and Judicial Police agents have also participated in various police stations of the Division of Civil Protection and Regional Services Criminal Investigation. For further technicians have worked in the Department of Environment of the Basque Government.