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"Europe: 122 tonnes of illegal and counterfeit pesticides seized during "Silver Axe II" operation"

The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) supported a coordinated international operation that was carried out in key seaports, airports and on the land borders of Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Spain and the United Kingdom. The operation was led by the Netherlands. "Silver Axe II" continued for 10 days. Authorities from sixteen European Union countries inspected more than 940 cargoes with plant protection products.

The operation targeted the emerging menace of illicit pesticides. The main goal was to prevent its sales and import into the market. That includes not only substandard pesticide itself, but also intellectual property such as trademarks, patents and copyright protection. During the operation, law-enforcement agencies of the inspected countries found about 122 tones of illegal and counterfeit pesticides and 48 cases will be investigated further.

Operation "Silver Axe" has already reached it's second phase and is now becoming a regular operation supported by the Europol Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC3). During the process of investigation, Europol experts exchanged and analysed data received from all the participating countries. OLAF provided Europol with information on all suspicious containers of pesticides recently transfered in the European Union.

Note: infringements included: counterfeit pesticides (intellectual property/non-genuine products), illicit pesticides (might contain forbidden chemicals) or false declaration (dangerous goods).

Source: Europol

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