Wasting opportunities: Prevention of illicit cross-border waste trafficking

Iina Sahramäki, Serena Favarin, Shanna Mehlbaum, Ernesto Ugo Savona, Antonius Spapens, Terhi Kankaanranta

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This study aims to construct a consolidated crime script of cross-border illicit waste trafficking by analysing similarities in modus operandi. In addition, factors enabling illicit waste trafficking were studied. Research questions were analysed from a situational crime prevention point of view by applying crime script analysis to 13 judiciary case studies of illicit cross-border waste trafficking obtained from the Netherlands, Italy and Finland. The findings suggest that the potential offender usually has advanced knowledge of the waste market and of the legislation and regulation. The case studies also suggest that the lack and misuse of appropriate licenses and falsified documentation, as well as taking advantage of illicit and licit networks in facilitating activities, are prevailing characteristics in the illicit cross-border trafficking of waste. Despite the small number of cases, the findings imply the need to focus crime prevention efforts on the early stages of the crime commission process, such as planning the crime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-85
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Journal of Policing Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • waste crime, crime script, illicit waste trafficking, environmental crime, situational crime prevention


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