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Illegal scrap trade goes global

[ March 12, 2013   //   ]

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is warning of a possible upsurge in illegal exports of scrap material as the Police increasingly crack down on the domestic trade in dubious material.

The new Scrap Metal Dealers Bill has made it illegal to pay for scrap materials in cash, but criminals may increasingly export to countries where this is still permitted. Freight forwarders and other businesses are urged to report suspicious locations for shipping containers, such as brown field sites, scrap yards, farms, industrial units, travellers’ sites and residential premises to the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) at alerts@soca.x.gsi.gov.uk, quoting AA645AA, or British Transport Police Metal Theft Fusion Intelligence Unit on 020 7521 6332, fax to 020 7830 8980 orfusion@btp.pnn.police.uk.

BIFA director general, Peter Quantrill, comments: “Parliamentarians may have thought they had solved the problem by outlawing cash payments for scrap, but they may have inadvertently shifted the problem onto the freight transport supply chain.”

Meanwhile, the port of Antwerp – one of the leading locations in Europe for the global secondhand vehicle trade says that some less scrupulous traders have developed a lucrative sideline of exporting illegal waste as ‘packaging’ for secondhand cars being shipped off to the Third World where it can be disposed of.

The port has however stepped up its checks and brought in new rules at the beginning of last year. According to the results of a six-monthly survey , the amount of “secondary goods” has fallen 17% in the past six months.

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