"we will not hesitate to take action against anyone operating illegally.”
Solihull-based brothers Jamil and Saleem Rehman received custodial sentences following an investigation into electronic waste fraud by the Environment Agency.
At Birmingham Crown Court, Jamil, aged 56, was jailed for five years and four months while his brother Saleem, aged 55, received a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years.
Jamil was the director at Electronic Waste Specialists Ltd (EWS). He submitted false claims for the recycling of around 10,600 tonnes of electronic waste.
The offence was committed between January 2011 and December 2012.
The fraud resulted in the company receiving a payment of £1.48 million from a producer compliance scheme, Weee Light Ltd.
EWS’s services were contracted by Weee Light Ltd as an approved authorised treatment facility. The company created falsified paperwork, which detailed fictitious recycling.
The fraud came to light when the Environment Agency’s National Investigations Team became suspicious of the paperwork that EWS had submitted.
At the time, the company operated out of a warehouse on Devon Street in Nechells, Birmingham.
During the proceedings, the Environment Agency undertook a surveillance operation in relation to Jamil as he claimed he was not fit to plead.
Video evidence showed him driving. Further evidence showed he had hired HGV vehicles in 2018 and 2019.
He applied to vacate his plea but there was insufficient medical evidence to support the application.
The court heard that Saleem stole approximately £36,000 from the company account, spending the money on school fees, foreign travel and car hire.
In 2014, EWS went into voluntary liquidation with debts of over £116,000.
At a hearing on January 23, 2019, Jamil pleaded guilty to one charge of fraudulent trading. His brother pleaded guilty to one charge of theft from the company.
Jamil was jailed for five years and four months.
He was also disqualified from acting as a company director for ten years.
Saleem received a 16-month sentence, suspended for two years. After the case, an investigating Environment Agency officer said:
“The Environment Agency has a specialist crime unit using intelligence to track and prosecute organised crime groups involved in illegal waste activity.
“This case sends out a clear message that we will not hesitate to take action against anyone operating illegally.”
Waste crime is an issue, which has seen up to £1 billion per year being diverted from legitimate businesses and the treasury.
Since April 2011, the Environment Agency has invested £65.2 million in tackling it.
Waste companies, local authorities and businesses have a responsibility to check what happens to their waste.
They have been advised to contact the Environment Agency if they suspect something is wrong.
Contact the Environment Agency on 0800 807 060 or report it to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.