Brazil has announced that it will lodge a formal complaint with the World Trade Organization over shipments of more than 1,000 tons of hazardous waste which arrived from Britain.
The Brazilian government will base its complaint on the Basel Convention, which bans shipments of toxic waste from industrialized nations. The toxic trash arrived in 89 shipping containers labeled as recyclable plastic between February and May.
The containers held domestic and hospital waste, including batteries, used syringes, condoms, old medicine and soiled diapers, according to the Brazilian environmental agency IBAMA.
Britain freed on Friday the three Brazilian men suspected of having shipped the toxic trash to Brazil. The three were not arraigned, but they had their passports retained and they will continue to be investigated.
Their names were not released and their case won't be decided before October, when their situation will be discussed during a hearing.
The UK's environment agency said the three individuals – aged 24, 28 and 49 – had been arrested after raids near Swindon as part of "ongoing investigations."
The identities of the men, who face unlimited fines and up to two years in jail if convicted, were not disclosed "for legal reasons."
Liz Parkes, head of waste and resource management, said in a statement the agency was "working with the shipping lines for the return of the waste, at their own expense."