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6 July 2017Biotechnology

120 tons of counterfeit pesticides seized in Europe

More than 120 tons of counterfeit pesticides have been seized during an operation by Europol.

The operation, known as Silver Axe II, was executed together with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in major seaports, airports and at the land borders of multiple European countries.

Borders were investigated at Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands.

The operation took ten days and more than 940 shipments were inspected.

Wil van Gemert, Europol’s deputy executive director of operations, said: “This operation demonstrates once again that working with coordinated efforts is the key element for successful results against criminal businesses who compromise the health and safety of our citizens in their rush for easily gained money.”

Europol experts exchanged and analysed data received from the participating countries, liaised with rights owners from the private sector and provided support.

During the operation, OLAF provided Europol with information on suspicious containers of pesticides transshipped in the EU.

Graeme Taylor, director of public affairs at European Crop Protection, an industry association, said: “Pesticides, like all high-value goods, are targeted by counterfeiters.

“But unlike fake shoes or t-shirts, counterfeit and illegal pesticides do present a very real risk to people’s health and the environment. There has to be a zero tolerance policy for such criminal activities.”

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More on this story

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