A news release from Europol on 3 June advised that it had coordinated the fifth edition of Operation Silver Axe which saw twice the amount of illegal products seized compared to last year’s operation. The yearly law enforcement operation, which targets the counterfeit and illicit trade of pesticides, took place between 13 January and 25 April and involved 32 countries. Law enforcement authorities carried out inspections on land and sea borders, inland marketplaces and parcel deliveries, checking more than 3,000 tonnes of pesticides. It also says that 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. 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.
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