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Surveillance camera system used in successful prosecution of driver and friend for conspiring to dispose of waste illegally
     A private vehicle driver and his friend, who conspired to dispose of waste illegally at Kam Pok Road in Yuen Long, were fined a total of $7,500 at Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (November 28) for contravening the Crimes Ordinance (CO) and the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO). It is the first time for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to initiate prosecution against illegal dumping according to the conspiracy offence under the CO.

     An EPD spokesman said that the surveillance camera system installed at a lay-by at Kam Pok Road in Yuen Long captured this April a private vehicle driver illegally dumping commercial and industrial (C&I) waste, including packaging waste. With the licence plate information captured by the video camera the EPD then traced the driver. After further investigation, the EPD found that the driver's friend, who was in the car at that time, was also involved in the illegal dumping activity. After reviewing their testimonies, with legal advice being sought and evidence collected, the EPD subsequently prosecuted the two persons in accordance with the conspiracy offence under the CO and the WDO.

     The spokesman said that the area was a fly-tipping blackspot of C&I waste in Yuen Long. To step up efforts to combat illegal waste disposal, the EPD installed a surveillance camera system in the area this April to assist enforcement officers in their investigation and evidence-gathering work. After the surveillance system was installed, 53 cases of suspected illegal dumping were recorded in the first two months, but only four cases in the following two months, indicating that the fly-tipping problem has been greatly improved. According to the nature of different cases, 20 successful prosecutions against illegal waste disposal have already been made by the EPD, including issuing fixed penalty notices or laying summons, while prosecutions for the remaining cases are still in progress.

     Illegal disposal of waste in public places not only adversely affects environmental hygiene but can also cause road obstruction and pose a potential hazard to the safety of road users. The spokesman reminded all members of the public that they should properly dispose of waste in accordance with the law. First-time offenders of the WDO are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment. Prosecution will be instituted according to the CO against involved persons if there is sufficient evidence for conspiracy to illegal disposal of waste.
Ends/Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:30
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