Spanish authorities arrest gang that dumps electronic waste in Nigeria
Spanish authorities have dismantled a criminal network that smuggled some 2.5 tonnes of waste into Africa.
The gang specialized in smuggling waste, including discarded and hazardous electronic equipment, from Spanish Canary Islands to several countries in Africa, including Nigeria.
We gathered that the suspects loaded maritime containers with second-hand items such as vehicle parts and household goods.
A third of the contents was e-waste. This e-waste was then sent mainly to Nigeria and other African countries. From here, the waste was sold to willing buyers.
The network allegedly sourced the equipment from bins, flea markets and industrial dumps.
Among them was a 62-year-old Italian woman who owned a trading business and allegedly forged custom clearance documents for the arrival and departure of the cargo from the port of Santa Cruz, in Tenerife.
Electronic devices often contain poisonous and hazardous substances like cadmium, mercury, lead, arsenic, oils, gases, among other environmentally unfriendly substances.