Interpol Helps Target Organised Waste Crime In Scotland

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Interpol in aiding in Scotland’s fight against organised waste crime, which has been dubbed “the McMafia” due to the similar methods used by mafia families in Southern Italy.

Scotland’s Justice Committee heard that the “McMafia” profit from illegal waste disposal in Scotland, using violence to secure waste disposal contracts, cut corners and fiddle taxes.

SEPA is in touch with Interpol and Europol to help it tackle organised environmental crime, analysing why waste is such an attractive option for these criminals.

Committee convener Christine Grahame said: “People just don’t believe that we have something like a McMafia here, that serious organised crime perhaps is so clever in Scotland that they just don’t think it’s happening at that level.”

SEPA national waste and enforcement manager William Wilson said: “Is Scotland a soft touch? I would say it is not. Is there more to be done? Definitely.

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Ruaridh Nicolson – “Organised crime is unlikely just to be involved in environmental crime… They will have firearms, drugs, everything else you can think of”

“Italy has a well-entrenched problem with Mafia clans, particularly in the waste sector in the southern half of the country.

“We as an agency are in touch with Interpol and Europol, we’re partners within the policing working group and we are anxious to take part in initiatives that learn from best practice.”

Stephen Freeland, policy executive at the Scottish Environment Services Association, said: “I see five types of sites. You’ve either got a fully illegal landfill site, and illegal recycling operation, you’ve got a licensed site that is deliberately abusing its conditions for financial gain, you’ve also got a licensed site operating as a front for illegal activity, and you’ve got a fifth one which deliberate misclassification of materials to benefit from lower tax rates.”

Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Ruaridh Nicolson said: “Organised crime is unlikely just to be involved in environmental crime.

“They will have firearms, drugs, everything else you can think of. They are about making money, so it’s about the threat, risk and harm to communities.

“It’s about territory and they will use violence, that is their competitive advantage… So they undermine, or they undercut, contracts in terms of finance, but they also use violence and other facets to make sure that they get these contracts.”


 

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