The illegal dumping of domestic and sometimes even hazardous industrial waste by the mafia has long been a problem in Italy. Now it has emerged that the trafficking of rubbish has spread across Europe, with garbage transported from Italy to countries including Germany and Sweden.
It is a dirty business, but a hugely profitable one for the crime gangs. The price may be even higher for some, as the clandestine disposal of dangerous substances is being linked with rising cancer rates and birth defects in the areas affected.
In this edition of On the Frontline Paul Hackett asks what is being done to deal with this toxic time bomb. Why are investigators and prosecutors not bringing the guilty to justice? How are the gangs’ activities spreading across Europe and what more could politicians at a national and European level be doing?
These are the issues he discusses with a panel of experts: Leif Gorts from Eurojust, the European Union’s judicial cooperation agency, Shirleen Chin, from the Institute for Environmental Security and Monica Frassoni, Co-Chair of the European Green Party.
Click on the video to see the programme.