Tunisia: Detention of Environment Minister in connection with waste scandal

Tunisia: Detention of Environment Minister in connection with waste scandal

A Tunisian court Monday ordered the arrest of Local Affairs and Environment Minister and scores of other officials accused of corruption in connection with the importation of tons of highly dangerous waste from Italy.

Mustapha Laroui was dismissed from the cabinet as result of the arrest warrant issued by the ministry of justice.

Nineteen other people have been detained while ten others appeared before court free.

The North African country has been rocked since summer by the scandal after SOREPLAST, a Tunisian company, imported around 300 containers, totaling 120,000 tons of municipal solid waste from Naples in Italy, for sorting and recycling. The waste is believed very dangerous and banned by Tunisian laws.

SOREPLAST was to execute the contract for €48 per ton – around €5 million in total.

The owner of the Tunisian company who has reportedly fled the country has been subject to an international arrest warrant.
Badreddine Gammoudi, Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for Administrative Reform, Tuesday, told lawmakers that the people involved in the scandal enjoy support from the Tunisian power, politicians and businessmen, Webdo Tunis reports.

Gammoudi also indicated that if ever any MPs are involved in this scandal, his committee will alert the public opinion.

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