Dutch arrested in toxic waste case

16th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

16 February 2007, AMSTERDAM – Two Dutch were arrested on Thursday in connection with the toxic dumping by the ship the Probo Koala. Both persons are part of management at the Amsterdam Port Services (APS), the processing company that initially accepted the heavily toxic material on board the Probo Koala. An arrest warrant has been issued for the captain of the ship.

16 February 2007

AMSTERDAM – Two Dutch were arrested on Thursday in connection with the toxic dumping by the ship the Probo Koala. Both persons are part of management at the Amsterdam Port Services (APS), the processing company that initially accepted the heavily toxic material on board the Probo Koala. An arrest warrant has been issued for the captain of the ship.

The justice ministry confirmed the first arrests in this case on Thursday. The then director of APS, his replacement and the captain of the Probo Koala are suspected of violating regulations for the import and export of waste, law on pollution by ships and forgery.

The justice department says that Trafigura Beheer BV, the Amstelveen-based registered owner of the shipment of toxic waste, is also one of the main suspects. Sources close to the justice ministry’s investigation report that it is not clear however who at the internationally operating Trafigura can be held liable.

Trafigura wanted to deliver a shipment of 500 tonnes of waste onboard the Probo Koala to the APS in July last year. When the processing turned out to be too expensive, Trafigura demanded that the toxic shipment be returned, even though some of it had already been pumped off the ship. A month later the waste was illegally dumped in the Ivory Coast. Ten people died and thousands became ill as a result.

The head of the municipality of Amsterdam’s environmental inspection is suspected of criminal offences for having allowed the waste-laden ship to leave the port. The official is also suspected of having “exceedingly close ties” with waste processing company APS.

He allowed the extremely hazardous waste that had been unloaded from the Probo Koala in Amsterdam to be pumped back onto the ship. The ship departed immediately, even though a criminal investigation into the cargo was still ongoing. Surprised police were unable to follow the ship offshore.

The criminal investigation into the Probo Koala case has been difficult, not only because of the complexity of the case but also because detectives are dependent on the help of various foreign authorities. The Probo Koala, a foreign ship with a foreign crew, also moored at a number of other ports outside the Netherlands before reaching the Ivory Coast.

[Copyright Expatica + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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