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Coverage of launch of Environment Agency Economic Crime Unit

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There has been positive media coverage today after the Environment Agency launched a new Economic Crime Unit to boost its efforts to tackle money laundering and carry out financial investigations in the waste sector, ensuring crime doesn’t pay.

Publications including the Express,, Circular, Materials Recycling World and Solicitors Journal covered the announcement.

The unit will help to ensure those working in waste management do the right thing and gangsters are unable to operate in the sector.

It builds on the work of the Environment Agency Financial Investigations Team, which has had significant success in seizing money and assets. Working with partners across law enforcement, the Environment Agency has now expanded this team into the Economic Crime Unit.


Alan Lovell, Chair of the Environment Agency, said:

Waste crime is a blight on communities and our environment. By undermining legitimate business investment, it costs our economy an estimated £1 billion every year – money being taken away from other essential services to deal with the damage caused by waste criminals.

The Environment Agency is committed to taking tough action and the launch of our dedicated Economic Crime Unit shows we will not tolerate organised criminals moving into the waste sector and using it to facilitate other crimes.

Emma Viner, Enforcement & Investigations Manager at the Environment Agency, said:

Waste crime is financially motivated so we know investing our efforts in making sure it doesn’t pay will make it far less attractive to criminals.

That’s why we are excited to have launched our new Economic Crime Unit, which will bolster our efforts to carry out financial investigations and tackle money laundering.

Environment Minister Robbie Moore said:

We are all victims of waste crime – criminals leave a trail of both environmental damage and ill-gotten gains, while gangsters’ misdeeds can even include drugs, trafficking and firearms.

The establishment of the Economic Crime Unit provides another powerful tool in our fight against waste criminals who undermine legitimate business and blight communities.

We are going further to remould the waste industry and combat cowboy operators, including by introducing mandatory digital waste tracking and reforming the waste carriers regime, meaning those transporting or making decisions about waste must demonstrate they are competent to do so.

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1 comment

  1. Comment by alan wightman posted on

    That´s what you said about the pollution of our rivers by Water Companies.
    When was the last time you fined a Water company who continue to pollute and virtually not inspected by DEFRA for the past 20 years?