October 23, 2020: Bulgarian and eastern European battery and recycling group Monbat announced in September that it had been cleared of mishandling hazardous waste by law firm Wolff Theiss.
It also said the results of the independent review showed it had operated in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
The statement was made in response to an investigation in May into whether Monbat CEO Atanas Bobokov, his brother Plamen Bobokov and Bulgaria’s deputy environment minister Krassimir Zhikov were involved with a crime group that mismanaged product waste, including lead waste.
The two brothers and Zhikov were detained for 24 hours and in June, Atanas Bobokov resigned from his post, although remaining as chairman of the board.
Wolff Theiss was appointed the same day ‘to conduct an independent audit into the matters related to the ecological aspects of the company’s activity and compliance with Bulgarian and European legislations’.
The firm said there was no irregularity with declared quantities of waste, and that “incoming and outgoing flows were only in relation to materials and waste related to its production and no illegal import/export was made”.
“Processing of RDF waste (household waste) is incompatible with Monbat’s technological capabilities and Monbat Recycling has never been engaged in this segment of waste management,” the firm said.
Wolff Theiss said all documentary processes that had been carried out were appropriate.