On 30 November, a news release advised that, since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Europol identified the potential growth in unlawful sanitary waste treatment and disposal, as a result Europol launched operation Retrovirus. Officers carried out inspections and checks on sanitary waste plants and transportation, which were crucial in halting the illegal trafficking, storage, dumping and shipment of waste and document fraud. 30 countries took part in Operation Retrovirus. Spanish officers searched 9 locations and arrested 20 individuals for crimes against the environment, labour rights and public health. In Portugal, police inspected more than 2,000 companies, hospitals and health centres. The activities led to administrative violations, 30 arrests and the seizures of assets worth almost €790,000. Law enforcement authorities also focused on the transport of sanitary waste across the EU. Authorities from Czechia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia checked cargo and identified illegal shipments, which were then sent back to their country of origin. Another trend identified during the operation was the possible pollution of urban residual waters.
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