Does the EA have the firepower to bring down the ‘waste mafia’?

Environment Agency chief James Bevan has pledged to bring down the waste mafia ‘Al Capone-style’, but does he have a big enough arsenal to do it? Conor McGlone investigates.

Al ‘Scarface’ Capone, one of the United States’ most notorious prohibition-era gangsters, was not ultimately brought down in a hail of bullets or charged with gruesome gangland killings as might have been expected. In the end, he faced justice when he was prosecuted for tax evasion.

Earlier this month, James Bevan, the Environment Agency’s (EA) chief executive, compared organised waste criminals to mafia outfits. He argued that organised crime gangs linked to slavery, drugs and firearms were exploiting the waste industry in nationwide fraud and fly-tipping schemes. Bevan used the Al Capone analogy to outline the role he wants the agency to have in fighting wider organised crime.

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