17,000 tonnes of waste containing asbestos dumped

EPA inspectors on the Cherry Lane property believed to be the destination of restricted waste. Image: NSW PoliceEPA inspectors on the Cherry Lane property believed to be the destination of restricted waste. Image: NSW Police

Police, working with the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA), will allege that up to 17,000 tonnes of restricted waste, containing asbestos, appear to have been dumped, or disposed of illegally, at a property on Cherry Lane, Kulnura.

Strike Force Dothan was established by officers attached to Redfern Police Area Command, to investigate anomalies recorded in the removal and disposal of waste, as part of the Green Square Town Centre development.
In August 2016, contractors were engaged as part of the development and were required to remove excavated material, which included asbestos and restricted waste, that could only be safely disposed of at two Sydney sites.
Strike Force Dothan investigators continued their inquiries, and on the morning of Wednesday, August 29, executed a search warrant at the Kulnura property.

Investigators, accompanied by officers from the NSW EPA, have spoken to the property owners and have ascertained that they were advised that the material being dumped at their property was clean fill.
Samples from the property will be analysed, and it is anticipated that large-scale remediation will be required.
Investigators believe the illegal dumping operation is linked to organised crime.

A 48-year-old man remains before the courts after being charged with numerous offences by Strike Force Dothan investigators, including fraud offences totalling almost $4m relating to the illegal dumping of asbestos.

Investigations continue into the matter, and police have urged anyone with information about illegal dumping to come forward.
As a result of extensive inquiries on Friday, August 17, a 48-year-old man was arrested at Sydney International Airport.
He was taken to Redfern Police Station and charged with 13 counts of dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception, knowingly deal with proceeds of crime intent to conceal, and knowingly direct activities of criminal group.
The man was refused bail to appear at Parramatta Bail Court on Saturday, August 18.
He remained bail refused and was next due to appear at Central Local Court on Friday, August 24.
Before locating the alleged waste at Kulnura, Strike Force Dothan detectives executed search warrants, with the assistance of the NSW EPA, at homes on James Street, Guildford West and Elford Crescent, Merrylands West, on Monday, August 20.
A number of items, including an electronic device was seized during a search warrant at a commercial office on Cooper Street, Smithfield, on Wednesday, August 22.

Then on Thursday, August 23, detectives with assistance from Redfern Police Area Command, the Public Order and Riot Squad, Police Rescue, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and NSW EPA executed a search warrant at a Kemps Creek rural property.
During the search, police seized documents, computers and a quad dog trailer.
NSW EPA Chief Environmental Regulator Mark Gifford said illegal dumping is a serious environmental crime that can cause harm to the community and the environment.
“We take the matter very seriously, especially when asbestos is involved,” Mr Gifford said.
“The NSW EPA is pleased to be working alongside NSW Police to investigate the alleged illegal dumping of around 17,000 tonnes of waste material containing asbestos and related fraudulent activity.”

Source: Media releases, Aug 23 and 29
NSW Police media