Swedish authorities seize hazardous refrigerators

A truck loaded with around 50 refrigerators to be shipped to Nigeria has been stopped in a port on the island of Tjörn on Sweden’s west coast as part of an inspection by several authorities.

“We suspect that they are old refrigerators which contain environmentally hazardous Freon. Such objects aren’t allowed to be sent outside the OECD,” said environmental engineer Eva Gullqvist of the Västra Götaland county administrative board to the TT news agency.

The truck was so full that the inspectors, which came from the county board and Swedish Customs, didn’t dare open the truck on Tuesday.

“Cars nearby could have been damaged if the refrigerators had fallen out of the truck,” said Gullqvist.

The man listed as the exporter of the truck will now be requested to unload the refrigerators so they can be thoroughly inspected by the authorities.

“If the refrigerators are unusable, they are classified as hazardous waste, which also can’t be exported to Nigeria,” said Gullqvist.

The exporter may be reported to police for breaking several EU regulations on waste and transport.

The county administrative board suspects that the motivation for the export was to sell old, environmentally hazardous refrigerators which aren’t allowed in Sweden.