Several countries have reported every two years on activities undertaken by them with respect to promotion of research, development and exchange of information on best technologies, possible alternatives to controlled substances and costs and benefits of relevant control strategies and promoting public awareness.
|Year of submission:
Parties are invited to report to the Ozone Secretariat fully proved cases of illegal trade in ozone-depleting substances.
|Seizure Date Year
|Importing Exporting Country
|Illegal Trade Details
|1st quarter of 2017
|5130 kg of used HCFC-22. From 2014 to 2017, shipped to Panama. No refrigerant was seized in Panama yet
|The arrested people were all based in Spain
|Operation Malvarma against illegal export of recovered refrigerants The Environmental Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Spanish Guardia Civil in coordination with the Public Prosecutor on the Environment from the Prosecutor General's Office have conducted the following operations against illegal trade of ozone-depleting substances: By sea from Sagunto (Valencia) in Spain to the industrial estate El Sitio de Juan Diaz in Panama. By road from Sagunto (Valencia) to Valles (Tarragona) in Spain and then exported to France. In 2016, an organized criminal group (OCG) under the company name of FRIOGAS shipped 5130 kg of used HCFC-22 from Spain to Panama. The shipment took place by sea transport and was arranged by a Spanish waste management company based in Sagunto (Valencia), Spain. The import company was in the industrial estate El Sitio de Juan Diaz in Panama. The investigation resulted in the dismantling of the organized criminal group and the arrest of nine persons who were presented for illegal trafficking of HCFC-22. The export disobeyed European Union Regulation (EC) 1005/2009 on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which imposes an export license for used ozone-depleting substances by European Commission. A court case was initiated and is still ongoing. A copy of the accusation document is available. The investigation also revealed offences within the Spanish waste management company in terms of lack of proper waste treatment in 9753 kg of used HCFC-22. In normal conditions of compliance with the law, the recovered gas was sent from the Spanish waste management company in Sagunto (Valencia) to another company in Valles (Tarragona), and then transported to France to the destruction in a waste elimination plant. But the investigation detected deviation from this legal procedure with the finding of illegal exports from Valencia to Panama It is regenerated HCFC-22 but according to the lack of proper equipment in the installation, it could not be of high quality. Therefore, not all the gas was sent to France to destruction, but there was an important quantity of gas that was illegally exported to Panama to the economic benefit of the Spanish company offended.
|Rule Judgment has to be seen, court case was initiated and is still ongoing The European Commission and the Montreal Protocol Focal Points in Spain and in Panama were informed but were not involved in the investigations. A copy of the accusation document is available, in Spanish, and we send some photo of the case, but mind that due to the exports had already taken place at the time of the investigation, there are no photos of R22 bottles seized.
|10 Sep, 2021
|from Lithuania to Spain
|Criminal group composed of Lithuanian citizens had been illegally distributing HFCs in Spain. The F-gas was being illegally introduced (without a quota) through Lithuania and sent by road to Spain.
|Criminal procedure. Six people were arrested
|Seizure on 15 Feb, 2017 and inspection on 21 Feb, 2019
|1 unlabelled cylinder of 6 kg of an unknown refrigerant and 1 cylinder of 198 kg of R-409A (HCFC blend). Serial numbers 488584 and 360878
|Operation Cheiro against use of prohibited refrigerants in livestock farms Seizure location: Zamora region in Spain More than 180 inspections of refrigeration systems, milk tanks and compressors in livestock farms in the Zamora region showed that many of the old systems used prohibited ozone-depleting refrigerants, had false labels and were not registered in the Industry Registry. A Spanish contractor (service company) charged the farmers as if they had replaced the refrigerants, without having done it. The contractor certified that the installations were retrofitted to alternative refrigerants while they continued using prohibited refrigerants. The inspections identified several milk tanks and compressors containing CFC-12 or HCFC-22 refrigerants while the labelling showed HFC-424A. Some of the refrigerated tanks with HCFC-22 were for sale.
|Three individuals were arrested and condemned for fraud. A court case was initiated and is conducted by the Court of Instruction No. 3 of Zamora and the Prosecutor's Office of Zamora, among others for a crime of Article 348.1 of the Penal Code. This includes crimes against collective security for commercialization of gases that deplete the ozone layer. Photos of the seized refrigerant cylinders are available.
|The seizure of the unlabelled container with a type of gas inside with a weight of six (6) kilograms took place on February 15, 2017 in the warehouse of the company COGABE C.B. The content of the bottle sealed by GUARDIA CIVIL - SEPRONA has not been analysed so far. A new inspection was carried out in those facilities on February 21, 2019, verifying that the seized bottle is still there
|CFC-11 and CFC-12
|600 electronic items including 203 refrigerators
|Operation against illegal handling of electronic and toxic waste Investigation: Soria region in Spain, two owners of a recycling company in Soria, Spain, which handled without authorization electronic and toxic waste including hundreds of end-of-life refrigerators, and which illegally released ozone-depleting and global warming refrigerants into the atmospheres. The illegal activity has been taking place since July 2013. As a result of the investigation, 600 electronic items including 203 refrigerators were confiscated at the specialized Public Prosecutor´s demand. The investigation also showed that more than 40 kg of mercury compounds were illegally dumped into the soil, and that chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) refrigerants R11 and R12 were illegally released into the atmosphere. Other toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, zinc were also found at the premises of the enterprise. In January 2015, the representative of the Public Prosecutor´s Office for the Protection of the Environment in Soria discovered significant amounts of electronic waste, along with other toxic substances, at the premises of the recycling company near Soria. The Environmental Unit of the Civil Guards, also known as SEPRONA, found out that the company was authorized to recycle non-dangerous waste, but not any electronic or toxic waste. The technical unit of the Public Prosecutor´s Office provided the necessary scientific support in the investigation.
|The recycling company was pledged guilty for all the prohibited substances illegal management and responsible convicted to two years imprisonment, three years interdiction of working in the recycling business and a daily fine to be paid during the period of 8 months.
|7 Jul, 2022
|Criminal organization dedicated to illegally introducing and distributing F-gases in Spain used the modus operandi of declaring exports from Spanish custom´s warehouses to third countries, but the F-gas would actually remain in Spain.
|Criminal procedure. Thirty people were arrested (6 were sent to prison)
|54.537,262 kg estimated emisions de CFCs
|Operation against illegal handling of electronic and toxic waste Aragon region in Spain, two owners of two recycling companies, which managed deliberately wrong electronic and electric waste including thosends of end-of-life fridges 2007-2010, and which illegally released ozone-depleting and global warming refrigerants into the atmospheres. The illegal activity has been taking place since July 2007.
|Two responsible people of the recycling companies were pledged guilty for all the prohibited substances illegal management and first responsible convicted to two years imprisonment, three years interdiction of working in the recycling business and a daily fine to be paid during the period of 12 months. Second responsible convicted to 1 year imprisonment, 1 year interdiction of working in the recycling business and a daily fine to be paid during the period of 8 months.
|29 Jul, 2022
|to Estonia and Spain
|Criminal organization composed of 4 people dedicated to illegally distributing F-gases in Spain were illegally introducing HFCs mainly through Spanish ports.
|Criminal procedure. Four people were arrested
|13 Sep, 2021
|Criminal organization dedicated to illegally introducing and distributing F-gases in Spain was illegally introducing HFCs (without a quota) through Portugal.
|Criminal procedure. Seven people arrested
|1620 kg in estimated emisions
|Operation against greenhouse gas emissions (Operation KIGALI) Inspections of recycling plants for end-of-life vehicles showed that two of them did not recover the HFC-134a refrigerant contained in the air-conditioning systems. The release of fluorinated gases in the atmosphere when is banned as per European Union’s F-gas Regulation (EU) No 517/2014 on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases. The investigation detected irregularities in the recycling operations and illegal emissions of 1620 kg of HFC-134a..
|HFC-134a and CFC-12
|76 MM tn CO2
|Operation against greenhouse gas emissions Inspections of recycling plants for end-of-life vehicles in car waste management companies in 3 regions, with HFC-134a and possible R12 from refrigerants contained in the air-conditioning systems. The release of fluorinated gases in the atmosphere when is banned as per European Union’s F-gas Regulation (EU) No 517/2014, on Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases, Directive of End of Life Vehicles and Regulation 1005/2009 on ODS. The investigation detected irregularities in the recycling operations
|86 people arrested 30 companies involved https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/68-arrested-in-spain-for-pumping-out-76-million-kilos-of-co2
|During 2016 law enforcement agents carried out a total of 265 inspections of businesses using ODS. As a result 103 infringements and 2 crimes were detected.
|R-422 and HCFC-22
|Waste ODSs were transported by road using courier companies, in unauthorized vehicles that were different from those identified in the original application for shipment authorization.
|The cases were sent to the local authorities.
|Illegal Trade of HCFC-22
|The investigation carried out by local authorities concluded that virgin HCFC-22 was traded illegally thus breaching the ODS licensing system. 17 people were arrested and 37 tonnes of R22 seized.
|R-407 and HCFC-22
|Spain, France and Portugal
|The Spanish Civil Guard participated in the operation to inspect and search for Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment |(WEEE) and possible illegal CFCs purported to be exported outside the European Union.
|24 people arrested, 11 of them charged. 348 fridges were seized along with 154 washing machines, 7332 kg of metal and WEEE, 8 cylinders of HCFC-22 and R-407.
|Customs authorities undertook 15 inspections in all the big establishments that already had equipment running with HCFC-22.
|17 arrests were carried out for different infringements of the regulatory management of the refrigeration equipment.
|Spain and Morocco
|Collection of Wast Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) freezer operation in different provinces of Spain - Madrid, Toledo, Ciudad Real and Melilla by regional, local and state environmental authorities. This involved the collection of used freezers which were diverted and traded in the second hand market in Spain and Morocco instead of being sent to waste treatment plants. The WEEE was dismantled and set with parts of other WEEE to be placed in the market.
|464 WEEE (mainly freezers) were seized and 24 people were arrested.
|CFC-12 and CFC-11
|Shredding of fridges and other household appliances without ODS recovery. Waste|Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) was collected from the legal waste collection sites. Fridges were sent to scrapyards instead of waste treatment plants. Valuable pieces were extracted and the rest ended in shredding facilities without any ODS decontamination.
|1300 fridges and 1000 compressors seized. Around 71 tonnes of ODS, amounting to 500.000 Tonnes of CO2 equivalents from 400fridges were managed irregularly, with an estimated 10 million euros in profit. As a result 59 people were arrested, prosecuted and sentenced by the Supreme Court.
|CFC-12 and CFC-11
|Collection of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in the form of used fridges from a band of illegal traders operating in different provinces of Spain - Valencia, Alicante, Murcia y Málaga that were involved in diverting them to the second hand market in Spain and Morocco instead of sending the equipment to waste treatment plants. The WEEE were dismantled without any recovery of the ODS gas and the corresponding ODS emissions.
|1739 fridges were seized during the operation and 178 people arrested.
|1 Jan to 31 Dec 2005
|One case of illegal import of equipment with HCFC-22 foam.