Antwerp company acquitted of fraud involving waste materials from asphalt lake in Curaçao

July 5, 2023  –ANTWERP, WILLEMSTAD – The Antwerp-based company Oilchart has been acquitted by the court in Belgium of waste fraud involving bunker oil. The company was on trial on suspicion of illegally transporting waste materials from the asphalt lake in Curaçao to Belgium. 

The legal proceedings began following a major environmental scandal surrounding Asphalt Lake Recovery (ALR) in Curaçao, which was responsible for the remediation of the asphalt lake containing an estimated 34,000 tons of chemical waste. 

Oilchart was accused of supplying diluents to ALR, which were mixed to create Fuel Oil number 6. This product was then imported to Belgium by Oilchart. According to the prosecution, this product was nothing more than disguised waste, and they demanded a three-year prison sentence for the director and a fine of 500,000 euros for the company. 

The defense argued for an acquittal, contending that Fuel Oil number 6 was not a waste material. The court agreed, ruling that no waste but a raw material was being imported, which could be made usable through a treatment without endangering human health or having adverse effects on the environment. 

In reaching this verdict, the court relied on previous findings by both the Department of Environmental Enforcement, Environmental Damage, and Crisis Management, as well as the Flemish Minister of Justice and Enforcement, Environment, Energy, and Tourism. 

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