At least half a million cubic meters of waste ended up in the environment as a result of the garbage mafia, which was discovered by policemen from Lubuskie. Investigators found that the group collected waste and then buried it in the ground. The junk “business” was supposed to bring them up to several million zlotys in profits.
Investigators closed the junk mafia case, which had been in operation since January 2018. The allegations were heard by 21 people, including the group leader.
Police: Claimed they were mining deposits and burying garbage
According to investigators, the group was headed by a 59-year-old leader who organized the “work” of the remaining members and decided on the division of roles. – The criminal mechanism consisted in obtaining waste from other institutions that produced it as part of their activities. These were to be sent to a disposal point. Only they ended up in the ground instead of there. These were plastics, hazardous, construction and municipal waste, polystyrene, tires, fuels, petroleum substances, varnishes and other chemical compounds – reports the sub-inspector. Marcin Maludy, spokesman for the Lubuskie Police.
Investigators have no doubts that such actions of the criminal group contributed to a significant reduction in the quality of water, soil and significant damage to the plant world. In addition, everything happened in the Przemęcki Landscape Park, which is protected within the “Natura 2000” area.
– A misleading lead for the investigators was the concession that the figureheads had to mine the deposit. It was also there that waste from international transports was sent, which later – by excavator operators and the use of heavy equipment – were buried several meters underground. It was a ticking bomb that no one had the right to know about. And those who suspected something were quickly intimidated by members of the criminal group – informs the spokesman of the Lubuskie Police.
“Officials were corrupted, documentation was forged”
According to the investigators’ findings, the group made sure that as few people as possible knew about their activities. Threats were addressed to representatives of institutions and control entities dealing with environmental protection.
– Officials of state and local government institutions were corrupted. All the documentation of their companies gathered by the group leaders was falsified for the purposes of potential controls and inspections. All this to create the appearance of legality of their actions. The representatives of the control cells had a real problem with carrying out their activities, or they were not allowed into the waste storage area or they were prevented from carrying out effective control of soil samples – says Maludy.
21 people were detained
Police officers and prosecutors collected evidence, which shows that since January 2018, almost half a million cubic meters of various types have been introduced into the ground on an area of over 11 hectares.
When the material was sufficient, it was decided to detain specific people. The activities were attended by officers from the Independent Counterterrorism Sub-unit of the Police from Gorzów Wielkopolski.
At first, eight people aged 30 to 68 were detained, among the detainees was a 59-year-old, whom the investigators believe is the leader of the group. – They were presented with 24 charges related to participation in an organized criminal group, illegal transport of waste from abroad, storage and processing of waste, false statements, threats, paid protection, illegal possession of weapons, obstruction of official activities by authorized bodies and exposure to direct dangers of loss of life be detrimental to your health. A total of 21 people were involved in the proceedings, says Maludy.
The officers secured assets for the total amount of nearly PLN 6 million for future penalties.
He will also be responsible for money laundering
It is already known that the 59-year-old will be responsible not only in this process, but also in a separate proceeding regarding money laundering. – In the course of this investigation, PLN 27 million was secured against the suspect. In this case, proceedings are already pending before the court – adds the spokesman for the police.
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