Law enforcement authorities carried out inspections on land and sea borders, inland marketplaces and parcel deliveries, checking more than 3 000 tonnes of pesticides. Altogether, 260 investigations were opened, two individuals arrested and 1 346 tonnes of illegal pesticides seized. Currently, 8 investigations are still ongoing in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Slovenia and Switzerland.
PESTICIDES WORTH UP TO €94 MILLION IN CRIMINAL PROFITS SEIZED
A European study** estimates between 10% and 14% of the EU pesticide market is affected by this illegal trade and criminals netting up to €70 for every trafficked kilogram of illegal pesticides. Some of the organised crime groups trafficking pesticides are also involved in other illegal activities such as trafficking counterfeited cigarettes and illegally trading pharmaceuticals.
Pesticides are one of the most regulated products in the world: they target harmful organisms in plants but are safe for humans and the environment. Illegal pesticides, however, could pose a risk to human health and the environment, which cannot tell us how much damage it really suffers from such toxic substances.
The abuse in the trade of illegal pesticides varies from trafficking counterfeit or mislabelled products to the irregular import of banned substances such as chlorpyrifos, specifically targeted during Silver Axe V.