Court hear­ings start in Nerja il­le­gal dump case

Costa del Sol News - - FRONT PAGE -

NEWS Staff Re­porter THIRTY-four peo­ple in­clud­ing con­struc­tion com­pany own­ers and cur­rent and for­mer coun­cil­lors at Nerja town hall have been called to tes­tify in a court in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an il­le­gal dump out­side the town.

The hear­ings at a Tor­rox court started on Tues­day and are sched­uled to run un­til No- vem­ber 30.

The case in­volves an old quarry site in the Río de la Miel area that was used as a dump for con­struc­tion rub­ble and other waste for 15 years be­fore be­ing closed down in 2016, amass­ing some 800,000 cu­bic me­tres of waste.

The cost to clean it up and re­turn the 36,000-square-me­tre site to its orig­i­nal state has been es­ti­mated at €10.7 mil­lion, while the Guardia Civil’s Se­prona en­vi­ron­men­tal unit has said the il­le­gal dump­ing, which kept the waste ma­te­rial from be­ing prop­erly treated, rep­re­sented €2.5 mil­lion in fraud.

Ear­lier this year 12 peo­ple were ar­rested in the case, co­de­named Op­er­a­tion Rub­bish, and real estate and other as­sets to­talling €5 mil­lion were em­bar­goed from some of the sus­pects.

Those called to tes­tify at the in­ves­tiga­tive hear­ings in­clude 31 con­struc­tion busi­ness own­ers, cur­rent Par­tido Pop­u­lar coun­cil­lor José Miguel Ji­mena – who was pre­vi­ously the en­vi­ron­ment coun­cil­lor when the Par­tido Pop­u­lar was in power at the town hall – and for­mer PP coun­cil­lors José Al­berto Tomé and Jonathan Mén­dez.

No­body in the case has yet been for­mally charged with any crime.

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