BREAKING: Lord Chris Smith's African Witch Hunt Continues: Part 1

UNEP doubled down, using photos of "primitive recycling" in its 2015 report on "e-waste".  But the actual statistics hidden throughout UNEP's own report told a different story from it's press release headline.  If the majority of sea containers of used electronics shipped from Europe are "illegal", then why do the seizures of hundreds of containers only find 1/3 which had anything illegal?

Just one of dozens of examples where the #ewastehoax needs to answer the simple question, "duh?"

UNEP is only pointing fingers, however.  One nation abandoned nuance with flair 5 years ago.  Indictments and prison sentences. While Agbo workers burn wire, England is burning witches.

The photo above shows Mike Anane of Ghana briefing reporter Raphael Rowe of BBC Panorama, on the ground in Agbogbloshie, Ghana.   Mr. Anane was back at Agbogbloshie 2 days before my arrival in March... briefing Jacopo Ottaviana of Aljazeera's #ewasterepublic... see below.

"When I look at these things, I would not call it importation. For me the bottom line is dumping, because from all of these containers that come, only about 20% are functional, and 80% are junk, garbage" - Mike Anane Aug 2014


Anane's accounts to journalists were covered on this blog a few days ago.  I met him face to face at an Interopol Meeting in Washington DC in 2010, where he presented between UK Environmental Agency Director Lord Chris Smith and Jim Puckett of BAN.  You know the claims... 80% dumping. 500 sea containers per month arriving at Agbogbloshie. The biggest E-Waste Dump in the World. Teeming with fish, Anane recounted, just 10 years earlier.

Mike Anane: "For the past 11 years. That was when I first saw the trucks with e-waste coming from the port to Agbogbloshie. Agbogbloshie happens to be a place I’m familiar with. I have been hanging around the area when it was a lush, green, beautiful wetland with lots of birds and some wildlife, and the river and the lagoon that run through the dump site had so much fish. The fishermen, the people in the communities depended on these rivers for their livelihood. Agbogbloshie used to be an amazing, beautiful wetland, a Garden of Eden. A wetland performs enormous environmental functions. When the water from the city goes to the sea, it goes through the wetland and gets filtered. Fish from the sea come and make babies. Wetlands are so important to every country, to nature, and to mankind.
"But now, the river and the lagoon are both dead: no fish, no organisms, nothing. The river and the lagoon both end up in the sea, and when the fishermen at the seaside throw their net, hoping to catch some fish, they get computers, television sets, and fridges. Their poisons spill into the sea every single day... So for me Agbogbloshie, which was a green Garden of Eden, is now paradise lost."
Note that this interview was in August 2014, describing "11 years" of experience.  But his 2010 interview with me at Interpol, he said it had been ten years.  And in his first interview, with Greenpeace in 2008, it was ten years.  And on PBS Frontline, it was since he was a boy.

My personal interview was during the meeting that set Lord Chris Smith up against Hurricane Benson. Lord Chris Smith, as I recall, introduced Jim Puckett and Mike Anane to the audience of Interpol enforcement experts.  It set up the first arrest and indictment of "Hurricane Joe Benson". And this week,, a British environmental online newsletter, reports that "Hurricane Joe Benson" has company.


More African Techs for UK jails. Ezenwa Ogbonnaya faces sentencing in a few months, and the daughter of Mark Daniels (who was born in the UK, lived in Africa with his family, and moved to UK from Africa at age 16) says her parents were railroaded in the same way as Benson... by Bullyboys.
The company and its directors, Mark Daniels, (51, of Reynolds Street, Warrington) and Lynn Gallop, (52, of the same address) pleaded guilty to shipping the containers illegally.  Mark Daniels was given a 9-month custodial sentence suspended for two years and ordered to pay £50,000 Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and a £20,000 contribution to costs. Daniels Recycling Ltd was fined a total of £25,000 (£5k per offence pleaded to). Lynn Gallop was fined £450, with £25,000 POCA and a contribution to costs of £10,000.
Ezenwa Ogbonnaya and M2 Ventures Limited also pleaded guilty to exporting 6 of the containers, having bought the waste from Daniels Recycling. Sentencing of Mr Ogbonnaya and his company has been adjourned to March 2016.
Despite pleading guilty to the offences, Mr Daniels and Mrs Gallop have maintained that activities at the Warrington site are carried out legally. The couple also claimed to have taken the plea after having been told that further legal action may follow last week’s trial. The statement said: “After five years of fighting, hell and stress; we pleaded guilty to a crime we feel we did not commit just to make it go away.
“We feel we were bullied and threatened by the EA for the last five years, to the point where we could not take it anymore.
Having spent much of the past 6 months writing a 100 page report on WR3A's investigation of Tech Sector Imports to Ghana, I'm much more confident than I was when I first heard about these cases, timidly meeting Joe Benson in 2013.

The BBC Panorama and Sky News reports fawned over Mike Anane, who told them the Odaw River was teeming with fish, and that 500 containerloads per month were dumped among 87 scrap workers - most of whom hammered apart cars.  Millions of tons per year, etc.  I've now offered $1000 cash to anyone who can give me a single photo of a single sea container dumped in Agbogbloshie, or other proof to back up Anane's claims that 80% of used goods imported to Ghana are dumped there.

What about the 1/3 of the containers in EU found to have something illegal?

From Ghana's perspective, what was illegal in the sea container shipments was refrigerators and air conditioners.  No, not because they weren't working, and not because of freon.  The Ghana customs agents we interviewed in Accra and Tema explained that Ghana has an electricity shortage, rolling blackouts.  As a conservation measure, the Ghana authorities offer "buy back", a kind of "cash for clunkers" program to get older fridges out of circulation.  It had nothing at all to do with flogging Agbogbloshie.

Here's the chart again.  While Raphael Rowe was interviewing Anane, the actual containerloads were actually being inspected and assessed, the same year Hurricane Benson, Daniels and Gallop, and Ogbannaya are accused of dumping!  THEIR loads were in the sample below!!!

In Ghana, there really was no sense of "racism" or "profiling" or "accidental racism" in the enforcement of rules at customs. Every single load arriving in Ghana is unpacked inside a walled government-controlled customs facility, where guards with clipboards inspect EVERYTHING.

We did take the customs officials on one trip to Agbogbloshie scrap yard with us.  In heels and nice suits, the officials looked awkward on the smoldering landscape, beside Accra's teeming slum.  They told us nothing they were looking at - 30 year old VCRs, 150 lb. 1970s analog CRTs, etc. - would be allowed out of the port.  But when asked about enforcement, they shrugged.  They never see old stuff like this because no one would pay to bring it into Ghana.

The INTERPOL CWIT Report was shorter and more direct than the UNEP Report that preceded it.  As they explained in my personal meeting in Lyon, they'd found no evidence at all of the "80% dumping" of e-waste, they'd found the contrary.  They found mismanagement of material in Europe, and people quarreling over planned obsolescence and strategic metals.   We hope the report is read to say "fund Rhino horn protection, fund illegal deforestation, fund coral reef protection, fund giant tortoise and shark fin and whale hunt enforcement, help us close the ivory trade".  They seem to have found "e-waste" was not "Trafigura".

Tens of thousands of people plead guilty to crimes they did not commit.

To be continued....

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