African "E-Waste" Witch Hunt #4: LCS-Judge Dawson-TinTin vs. Benson-Daniels

Why does the Crown Court threaten 60 months in prison to an illiterate African born TV Repairman?  Because it cannot prove its case and needs to "plea it out".  Here is the fourth blog in the E-Waste Witch Hunt Series, featuring men old enough to remember Ghana as a British Colony, getting their "facts" from Michael Anane, Jim Puckett, and TinTin Comics.  Posting publicly the prosecution's case and sentencing remarks against #FREEHURRICANEBENSON...

His Honor Judge Dawson's Sentencing Remarks

Judge Dawson and LCS Get Facts from Tin Tin
"Basically, the situation seems to be, if I can put it into, again, rather layman's language, that waste electrical goods can be exported to other countries quite sensibly and be used by other countries who perhaps cannot afford such things themselves, poorer countries in the main I imagine, but the rules and regulations to protect the environment say that that waste material must be converted back into items which have been properly tested and which therefore can be safely exported as properly tested secondhand items. 
"In essence, what happened here is that when the environment agency intercepted these containers they looked inside them and they found that a large proportion of the items were hazardous waste, were not tested or suitable for use abroad, and in reality what would have happened -- the percentage is about 50 per cent -- in reality what would have happened is that large containers would have arrived in these African countries and 50 per cent of the items inside would have been hazardous waste. What happens, I am told, is that although there are rules and regulations all over the world for the treatment of hazardous waste, the reality is that in countries such as these the hazardous waste is not properly policed and therefore creates a danger, an environmental danger, not only to the residents and citizens of that country but I suppose to the world because these hazardous materials can create a problem of pollution worldwide."
The bold italics I added to link to NGOs Basel Action Network, who made this claim in "A Place Called Away"... after describing the Metal Scrappers in Agbogbloshie as "children" and depicting them with ghoulish, halloween language, Puckett gives the story about Benson's containers.
"This material [at the Agbogbloshie scrapyard] made its arrival on African shores just some days earlier as cargo inside 40-foot intermodal corrugated containers — the shifting bricks of globalized trade turned techno-trash haulers. Around 400 of these, each containing about 600 computers or monitors arrive each month at the Port of Tema, Ghana, from the UK, USA, Canada and countless other rich and developed countries. They may find a quick stay on the floors and shelves of hundreds of second-hand markets throughout Accra. But those that do not sell — about half, even if they work perfectly — are then picked up by small boys pushing heavy carts and hauled several miles to the outskirts of town, to be thrown away — to Agbogbloshie’s scavengers." 
"small boys" according to Jim Puckett
For film of the "Small Boys", see the Alex Wondergem / Adu Lalouschek documentary titled "Scrap Metal Men". These are not small boys, Abogbloshie is definitely not on the "outskirts of town", and the display devices "working or not" are not thrown away.  But despite 3 preposterous, self evidently false claims in the paragraph, Judge Dawson appears to give the claim more weight than Benson's.

UK Lord Chris Smith gets his "facts" from Jim Puckett and TinTin Comics

Jim Puckett that was introduced by Lord Chris Smith to address us at the Interpol launch of "Project Eden" in Arlington, Virginia, the year that "A Place Called Away" was printed, and Pieter Hugo's ("Africa as a Freak Show") photos of smoldering soil and young sad eyed black skinned faces graced BAN's Year End Report.  Puckett has no data, only speculation, that sea containers aren't inspected, and Africa's Tech Sector reuse shops merely place the items into retail stores to cover up their intent to burn them...

Remember E-Waste Witch Hunt #3, which showed PRIOR TO TRIAL that the UK House of Commons Technology Committee estimated only 19% of the containerloads were non-working... but they were worried about "strategic" loss of metal scrap value (reposted at bottom).

BAN and Greenpeace were the accusers.   Lord Chris Smith, the EA, and Judge Dawson believed them.  But unfortunately for Judge Dawson and the Environmental Agency, however, they didn't actually have a law... they needed a guilty plea.

To see why the case was unwinnable, see Indictment's Summary of Facts and Law (which misspells "Joseph" on the front page).  They needed to scare these guys with a major sentence - 5 Years of Prison in Benson's case - then offer to settle it at 8 months.

Lord Chris Smith Suggest We Call The Arrests of Africa's Tech Sector "Project Eden"




On Page 11, the Indictment spells out the Basel Convention.  The Convention specifically states under Annex IX, B1110, that export for reuse and repair is not LEGAL.  Legal.  L-E-G-A-L.  Indeed, that is why Basel Action Network wishes to AMEND it... but the Amendment has not passed.  But perhaps European Law does the trick?  Here is the excerpt in the Indictment.

The Revised Correspondents' Guidelines No 1 on Shipments on WEEE

1. Although not legally binding at the time of the offences these Guidelines were agreed between member states in June 2007 as a common understanding of how the WSR should be interpreted[1]. The document provides guidance to European Competent Authorities responsible for enforcement of the WSR as well as for persons responsible for arranging shipments of WEEE and those shipping EEE.

2. To determine whether an item is EEE or WEEE, the Guidelines recommend looking at the history of the item on a case by case basis. In addition to this general statement the Guidelines go on to list characteristics likely to indicate whether an item is waste or not.

3. An electrical item is more likely to be EEE where the holder has: -
3.1.1 a copy of the invoice / contract relating to sale and / or transfer of ownership stating the equipment is for direct re-use and is fully functional;
3.1.2 evidence of evaluation / testing, including functionality on every item within the consignment and a protocol containing all record information;
3.1.3 a declaration by the holder arranging shipment that none of the items are WEEE;
3.1.4 sufficient packaging to protect the items from damage during loading, transportation and unloading.

Now, I have copies of Benson's paperwork which provide the copies of the invoice, the customs clearance, and evidence of evaluation, all presented (according to his friend feeding me info) to his public defender.  I have copies showing Benson RETURNING items which TESTED AND FAILED back to the FREE recycling programs he was supposedly "avoiding" as a "driver" of his "behavior".

But even if I didn't have this information, read the Revised Correspondent's Guidelines... that's right, GUIDELINES, G-U-I-D-E-lines... "likely to indicate whether an item is waste or not".

Well, if you need someone to plead guilty, find someone who never went to primary school and grew up in AFRICA, and tell them the guideline is a law, and exhaust their finances by shutting down their business, then plea it out. Raphael Rowe should be able to explain that.

The GUIDELINES were never field tested.  The folks who wrote them never interviewed an African Technician, never looked at failure rates.   They made the guidelines up because Customs  Agents didn't know how to determine if used goods were legal under ANNEX IX reuse and repair.

This is bloody criminal.   I'm an environmentalist, and have spent a good deal of my life trying to benefit development in Africa.  The fact that BAN raises money with photos of negro children and never sends a penny of it in Africa already made me mad enough.  But this WITCH HUNT IN AGBOGBLOSHIE puts all of use environmentalists to shame.

The entire case against Joseph Benson of BJ Electronics and Mark Daniels of Daniels Recycling rests on speculation, defamation, racial profiling, and rank incompetence.   There is no "habeus corpus".  Indeed the CORPUS in Agbogbloshie which we can HABEUS was imported 10-30 years ago, and used in a city which has had electricity since BEFORE INDEPENDENCE in the 1950s, when it was a British Colony.

Coming soon, our report.  Draft title

“necare mimus avem africanus:  ewastegate”

Annex VI of the WEEE Directive 2012/19/EU incorporates the Guidelines as Minimum Requirements for Shipments of WEEE.

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