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Vilnius environment protection officials involved in an international operation by the Interpol

2017-08-08

The International Criminal Police Organization, also known as the Interpol, has recently revealed some details on a large-scale operation conducted in June 2017 which has detected world over, over 1.5 million tons of waste intended for illicit removal or disposal. The operation has relied on cooperation by police, customs, border control, and environmental protection officers from as many as 43 countries, including inspectors of Vilnius Regional Environmental Protection Department; these officers have run raids in the area of Polish and Lithuanian border, targeting international transport of waste.

This large-scale operation under title of “30 days of action” was conducted in the period of 1 to 30 June, and was initiated by a special working group at the Interpol, acting in response to the urge by the global community of law enforcement agencies to have access to more information on illicit transport of waste across a range of countries and regions. For the most part, the waste detected in course of the operation included waste of metal or power and electronic equipment which are usually associated with automobile industry. There were 226 reports on crimes, and 413 minor offences were examined. The criminal proceedings have identified a total of 141 shipments, transporting a total of 14,000 tons of illicit waste, as well as 85 sites used for illicit disposal of over 1 million tons of waste.

While previous investigations undertaken by the Interpol of similar nature were designed to detect crimes in the area of management of power and electronic equipment waste, the said operation was enlarged to include industrial, construction, household, and medical waste.

Crimes in the field of environmental waste is a source a major concern, since, according to the information available to the Interpol, out of 275 million tons of plastic waste originating in 2010, approx. 12.7 million tons were illicitly disposed of in the ocean, and in 2014, out of 42 million tons of power and electronic equipment waste originating across the globe, as little as 30% (approximately) were managed correctly.

The Interpol has found that the crime groups involved in illicit burial of electronic waste, were also associated with trafficking in human beings, drugs, and firearms, fraud and money laundering.

Public Communication Division
08/08/2017


Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas