- Company made claims of recycling 10,600 tonnes of electrical waste
- Forged paperwork discovered in Environment Agency investigation
The Environment Agency has successfully gained a proceeds of crime confiscation order on two brothers from Solihull who had previously received custodial sentences following a fraud investigation into a company called Electronic Waste Specialists Ltd (EWS).
Hearings at Birmingham Crown Court on 31 January and 2 February 2022, ordered Jamil Rehman, 58, of Appleby Grove, to pay £295,965.97 and Saleem Rehman, 57, of Buckbury Croft, £100,000.
The orders follow an investigation which detailed how Jamil, who was the sole director at Electronic Waste Specialists Ltd (EWS), had submitted fictitious claims for the recycling of approximately 10,600 tonnes of electronic waste with his company receiving payment to the value of £1.48 million from a producer compliance scheme, Weeelight Ltd.
Jamil Rehman admitted one charge of trading fraudulently between October 2011 and January 2012. His brother, Saleem Rehman, admitted one charge of theft from the company.
On 6 January 2020, Jamil Rehman received a custodial sentence of 5 years 4 months while Saleem was given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years.
Following these sentences, the Environment Agency carried out a confiscation investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA).
At a hearing on 1 February, Jamil Rehman was ordered to pay £295,965.97 within 3 months with a default sentence of 4 years imprisonment for not paying within that period. The court determined that he had benefitted in the sum of £1,481,908.85. With the £295,965.97 being his available amount.
At a hearing on 31 January, Saleem Rehman was ordered to pay £100,000 within 3 months with a default sentence of 2 years imprisonment for not paying within that period. The court determined that he had benefitted in the sum of £100,000 and that this was also his available amount.
Neil Campbell, from the Environment Agency’s national enforcement team, said:
The case shows that the Environment Agency is not just content to prosecute for illegal waste operations but will also come after those who profit illegally to recoup taxpayers’ money spent on pursuing them.
Waste crime can have a serious environmental impact and puts communities at risk. It undermines legitimate business and the investment and economic growth that go with it.
We support legitimate businesses and are proactively supporting them by disrupting and stopping the criminal element backed up by the threat of tough enforcement as in this case.
If anyone suspects that a company is doing something wrong, please contact the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60 or report it anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
EWS’s services were contracted by Weeelight Ltd as an approved authorised treatment facility.
The company created forged paperwork which detailed fictitious recycling.
The fraud came to light when the Environment Agency’s National Investigations Team became suspicious of the paperwork EWS, which operated out of a warehouse in Devon Street, Nechells, Birmingham, had submitted.
EWS Ltd went into voluntary liquidation in 2014 with debts of over £116,000.
Serious and organised waste crime is estimated to cost the UK economy at least £600 million a year. Rogue operators illegally dumping or exporting waste, or deliberate mis-description of wastes undermines legitimate businesses by disposing of waste cheaply and recklessly. This harms the environment and local communities, and deprives the government of tax income.