Three men have been jailed for bribery following an investigation into corrupt activity at Bessemer Close Commercial Recycling Centre, a waste management facility run by Cardiff City Council.
Two other men received suspended prison sentences for their part in the corruption which resulted in losses of around £417,000 to the council. The convictions, believed to be the first obtained by South Wales Police under the new Bribery Act, follow an investigation which began in 2017.
Andrew Barnett, 54, was found guilty of bribery offences and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. Warren Roberts, 54, and Cesario DeAbreu, 33, had previously pleaded guilty to charges of bribery and were sentenced to 28 months’ imprisonment and 22 months’ imprisonment respectively.
Joshua Hayman, 33, and Anthony Miles, 55, pleaded guilty to charges of bribery and were sentenced to 9 months imprisonment suspended for 12 months and 14 months suspended for 12 months respectively.
Officer in the case, Detective Constable Joseph Lewis, from South Wales Police, said: “The defendants showed staggering levels of dishonesty in exploiting their positions of trust to deprive Cardiff Council of significant income.
“All presented themselves as legitimate hardworking council employees however the investigation identified an entirely different picture.”
In March 2017, a whistleblower made an allegation of corruption in the Waste Management Division to Cardiff Council. It was alleged that Warren Roberts, the controller of waste disposal company A&T Waste Management, was paying bribes to Cardiff Council staff to misrepresent the type or amount of waste being deposited at the site to reduce A&T’s billed amount.
On the day of his arrest around £40,000 in cash was recovered from Roberts’ home address. Further cash was seized from the other defendants’ home addresses.
All five men were sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on 9 November.